Original Publication Date: 14 December 2012
The Association of Non-Mammalian Park Newspapers (ANMPN), whose members include The Mollusk Messenger, The Canary Courier, The Insect Intelligencer, The Halibut Herald, and The Salamander Evening Post, has formally criticized the editorial policies of The Mammalian Daily.
At a media conference held this month at the University of West Terrier’s prestigious Cuthbert School of Journalism, a group of ANMPN editors expressed concern about certain aspects of The Mammalian Daily’s editorial guidelines.
“After examining the newspaper’s [editorial] policies, we have concluded that The Mammalian Daily falls short of its mandate to be The Park’s official newspaper. We recommend that steps be taken immediately to make the newspaper more inclusive and, thus, make it more representative of The Park’s population as a whole.” said Nathan R. DiPressa, Editor-in-Chief of The Reptile Register and Executive Director of the Association.
ANMPN members were unanimously critical of the newspaper’s official policy of anonymous reporting which, the Association said, allowed Mammalian Daily journalists to “hide behind their species.”
“Unless a writer’s species is declared,” said Tarrance Turkey, Deputy News Editor at The Galliforme Gazette and an ANMPN founding member, “readers have no way of knowing what that writer’s bias is in reporting.”
The Mammalian Daily drew further criticism for what the Association deemed a “pro- Human slant” in its coverage of events outside The Park, and for its limited reporting of news and events of a non-Mammalian nature.
“Even though my community participates fully in Park affairs, I find only on rare occasions do we receive the amount of attention that we deserve,” said Senior Finance Reporter Antoinette Anhima of The Avian Messenger.
While these criticisms reflected the common sentiment among rival Park publications, others expressed a more positive view of The Mammalian Daily.
Speaking at the conference’s concluding dinner, UWT Professor Ludwiga Saimiri, said she found much to commend in The Mammalian Daily. The distinguished scholar is the former director of the Centre for the Incorporation and Integration of Interspecial Values in Journalism (CIIIVJ).
She praised the paper for its forward-thinking policies, supporting its stand against the frivolous use of descriptive terms in its newspaper.
“Neither fur nor feather colour is to be reported, nor family, political, or financial status, unless it is germane to the story,” she said, quoting from The Mammalian Daily’s 25 AZ Statement of Editorial Intent.
“Too many Park publications indulge in ‘Werturteilfreude,’ she said, explaining the term that she has coined to mean “joy obtained from the making of a value judgement.”
“These judgements, made by reporters and editors, masquerade as descriptive terms in the [other] papers’ headlines and stories. But they are unfair, often unfounded, and have no place in responsible journalism,” she declared.
As for the newspaper’s supposed pro-Human slant, Professor Saimiri was sanguine about Humans and the role they play in Park affairs.
“We could do worse than attempt to present a balanced view of the Human world,” she said.