Ronald Grouse, the director of Park media’s Month Without Metaphor, has taken Park media to task over what he describes as the manipulation of their readership “in the style of advertisers.”
In a scathing editorial this morning, The Avian Messenger’s chief political analyst criticized Park publications, calling them “complicit with advertisers” in their descriptions of products, places, and events.
Grouse, who has only been at the helm of the media initiative for a month, singled out The Rodent Commoner for its recent article on the shortage of burrows in The Park.
“The use of terms that evoke emotion, such as ‘home,’ ‘hearth,’ ‘shelter,’ and the invocation of ‘family,’ is inexcusable in a publication that is supposed to be dedicated to presenting unembellished facts,” Grouse wrote.
The MWM director didn’t stop at The Rodent Commoner. Using examples from almost every Park newspaper, he demonstrated the manipulation that has come to be seen as the norm.
“News media are not in the business of pulling heartstrings,” he wrote, apologizing in the next sentence for the metaphor. “News media are in the business of presenting the facts as they are known or have come to be known. We are supposed to allow the readers to make their own judgments, based on our presentation. We are not supposed to lead them to feel anything.”
Grouse concluded his editorial by saying that he is deeply disturbed by the growing willingness of publications to shill for companies without thought to the consequences.
“You can be sure that we will take this up further at the Media Circus at the end of the month,” he wrote.