WBAY Features Biased Reporting on UWGB Voting Story

WBAY ABC 2 | 10-26-2016


On October 26, 2016, WBAY Channel 2, along with all other local media outlets, featured a story concerning Green Bay City Clerk, Chris Teske’s, decision to not establish a polling place on UW-Green Bay’s campus.

The story made headlines due to revelations that Teske had expressed concerns that placing a polling place at UWGB might pose an unfair benefit to Democrats.

First, let’s take a look at WBAY’s reporting on this story.

Can you spot the bias?  There’s arguably a lot here, but we are focusing on two points.

First, the reporter typifies One Wisconsin Institute as “non-partisan.” It is not necessarily our mission or purpose to question whether an organization is partisan or not.

With that said, had the reporter gone to One Wisconsin Institute’s website and viewed the lead photo, (in their video) one would see that there are serious questions as to this organization’s partisan predilections. (Oddly enough, the day prior WBAY reported on this story as well, but identified the same organization as being liberal). 

We’ve magnified questionable “non-partisan” examples for your consideration in the images below.

Images | YouTube Screenshot/One Wisconsin Now

Blindly calling an organization “non-partisan” when there is potential evidence that this may not be the case constitutes bias by spin. 

Second, WBAY featured a sound-bite from Madison’s mayor strongly condemning the City of Green Bay’s decision not to establish a polling place at UWGB.

Notice, though, the reporter fails to note that the Mayor of Madison is a Democrat – in fact, he was a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. 

Failing to disclose Mayor Soglin’s party affiliation gives greater credibility to his condemnation. This is both bias by source selection and spin.

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