Does Newsday bow to political pressure?
March 8, 2010 10:48 AM EST MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
Strupp finds "significant evidence" suggesting newspaper heavily influenced by County Executive Steve Levy
Washington, D.C - Today, Media Matters for America announced the release of investigative reporter Joe Strupp's inaugural story, titled "Is the Pressure Getting to Newsday?" -- a startling look at the Long Island newspaper's relationship with County Executive Steve Levy.
Highlights from Strupp's investigation include:
- At least two reporters assigned to beats that required them to cover Levy -- Bart Jones and Chau Lam -- were reassigned in recent years after he complained about them to Newsday's management.
- Levy claimed that Jones fabricated a photo for a story about a person who said county officials made him homeless when they ordered a landlord to vacate an overcrowded home. Newsday never issued a correction, but Jones was reassigned from covering immigration and is now on the religion beat.
- Carl MacGowan, a reporter for Newsday, said that Levy "absolutely takes exception with stories he doesn't like in ways that are remarkable" and that he is "more vindictive than other politicians."
- A Newsday reporter who asked not to be identified told Strupp during the course of his investigation: "I think we are too deferential to local elected officials too often."
- Levy's efforts to control the press are particularly evident when it comes to coverage of his stance on immigration. Patrick Young, a lawyer who blogs for Long Island Wins, said "We have heard he tries to keep immigrants rights advocates from being quoted."
To read Strupp's entire story, visit his new Media Matters blog, "Strupp."