WFRV Ignores Alternative Voices

WFRV CBS 5 | 4-22-2017


On April 22, 2017, Channel 5 (WFRV) featured a story during its 10 pm newscast titled: Protesters unite and march in opposition of the back forty mine. The story focused on protests taking place in Menominee, MI, over permits that were issued by the State of Michigan that clear the way for an open pit sulphide mine to be excavated near the Menominee River.

Watch or read the report here.

Can you spot the bias?  

Did you notice that in this approximately 3-minute report, multiple individuals were interviewed or featured expressing their opinions as to why the mine is bad for the environment and City of Menomonie, how there exists a “conflict of interest,” and how the State of Michigan does not “care about the Upper Peninsula.”  

Yet, for all the audio and video provided, only one individual can be heard expressing a counterpoint to the voices against the mine. Did you hear her? Go back and watch again to see if you can.

Notice, at the very beginning the report leads with a verbal altercation between a man and a woman on the street. If you listen carefully, the woman can be heard stating “I believe in mining . . . it feeds a lot of people.” She, though, is quickly overpowered by the gentleman, who shouts that mining “kills a lot of babies.”

Now, certainly, a representative from Aquila Resources may not have been willing to comment on the protests (of course, we don’t know that, as it is not mentioned in the report), but surely there were others in the community who held an opposing view about the mine. At least one woman clearly did. Unfortunately, WFRV chose not to interview her, instead simply featuring her comments as part of an otherwise silly sidewalk squabble.

By giving nearly 3 minutes of airtime to anti-mine advocates while giving little-to-no airtime to pro-mine advocates, WFRV commits bias by source selection.

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