Friday Feedback for June 12, 2015
Listener Angela wrote on Tuesday:
I was disappointed this morning to hear irresponsible framing of abortion numbers in your reporting. No concrete causation was offered in which you shared any data to support why abortion numbers in NC have dropped. However meaningless correlation between numbers dropping and [the proposed bill] forcing women to wait [72 hours] was mentioned by the reporter. This is part of a narrative and is dangerous and flawed. We do not know that forcing women to wait prevents abortion. We do know that pregnancy numbers have dropped. There is plenty of data to be debated, it is not at all as clear as you stated. Please WHQR do not make such thoughtless mistakes in your reporting, especially on such critical issues.
I wrote to Angela that we had reviewed the story, which was based on the Associated Press (and the Wilmington StarNews carried a similar story). She is correct that no concrete causation was presented to support why abortion numbers have dropped. However, the story does not assert such a link. It simply reads "new rules including a 72-hour waiting period could extend the trend” of numbers dropping. The word “could” is important here. Angela replied:
Thank you for the thoughtful response. This is why I love WHQR anyway. I would have been less annoyed, I suppose, if a bit more clarity had been offered. Given the nature of spin in political debates I think it's always best to clarify. In this case, "could" isn't good enough. Anything "could" happen, and I think lawmakers like to rely on such muddying words in order to plant seeds that will work in their favor... While I believe WHQR's listening audience is sharp enough to understand the nuance, I also believe it's better to err on the side of more clear, thoughtful language and intentional word choice… you are the gatekeepers to what is stated by reporters on our lovely Wilmington public radio airwaves.
Listener Gregory sent a message too lengthy to give in full, but here are some highlights. He likes a number of changes we’ve made, such as the second hour of Science Friday, the BBC World 9 am, more and more varied Jazz, more classical, Woodsongs, and Coastline. Concerning that, he adds:
It has greatly improved once we got beyond elections. I enjoy the non-political but still topical programs. Hopefully it will not devolve into just politics in 2016.
On the minus side, Gregory laments the limited range of 96.7, and the loss of a Celtic program and weekend Fresh Air. The new time for The Great American Songbook is less convenient for him. He has a preference for the older, “quirky individuality” of 91.3 before the split into two stations. He’s jokingly thinking of starting a group called A.L.A.R.M., Associated Listeners Against Radio Mozart.
A couple of weeks ago on Friday Feedback I read a message from a listener unhappy with the pre-midnight music. On our website, listener gurucat responded:
I'm confused by the "strident jazz" comment from the person who wants to be "lulled to sleep" but keeps the radio on in order to be jolted awake(?) by the BBC. What? Ignore the incivility of the less evolved.
We posted on our website this week the sad news that Metropolitan Opera announcer Margaret Juntwait had passed away after a long battle with ovarian cancer. Mary Virginia Swain wrote on our Facebook post:
So sorry! I loved Margaret's golden voice, insightful commentary and delightful interviews on the Met broadcasts. She really brought the whole production to life, so as you listed on the radio, you could visualize what it looked like and how exciting it all was.