Note that you don't have to have a particular viewpoint on the issue at hand to recognize that this letter effectively demonstrates journalistic bias in the Herald's coverage of the issues. We'll also take this opportunity to note that this blog raised the issue, not of the 47th Street women's clinic, but of the nearby 47th Street pediatric clinic and overall UCMC administrative restructuring, A YEAR before the Herald decided to focus on the latest phase of this restructuring.
Because this letter is so excellent, it needs no further commentary, and we therefore pass on the the brief in full:
U of C Coverage Smacks of Bias (Hyde Park Herald, July 1, 2009)
To the Editor:
It amazes me that your newspaper can be so blatantly partisan. I have watched for weeks as the Herald has methodically torn the university apart for closing its women's clinic at 47th Street and for downsizing and outsourcing its emergent care operations to other, cheaper hospitals. In each instance, this was deemed front page news. Yet, when it was reported -- by the same reporter, mind you -- that the university was donating at least $5 million to Provident Hospital, an "underutilized hospital," to assist in facilities upgrades so that they could better serve some of the same patients that the university will be sending them, this was relegated to page 4.
Moreover, the Herald has routinely pointed out that other non-profit institutions are buckling under the weight of the economic decline ("Budget cuts threaten Hyde Park orgs," June 24; "McCormick seminary for sale," June 24), effectively giving those same institutions a pass as they cut back on service and support of the Hyde Park community. From what I have read, the university's endowment shrank by a similar amount; I fail to see why it is held to a different standard.
While I understand that the university is looked on suspiciously in whatever it does simply based on its past behavior, I think it is deplorable for a journalistic organization to so obviously disregard the facts in such a methodical and partisan fashion. If I wanted such biased reporting, I'd watch Fox News.
Charles Stephen Thompson