News & Observer

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  • After NCAA, ACC Pull-Out Of North Carolina, Editorials Slam Gov. McCrory For Continued Support Of HB 2

    ››› ››› LUKE BATEMAN

    North Carolina editorial boards are slamming Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision to stand by his state’s discriminatory House Bill 2 (HB 2) following the NCAA and ACC’s recent plan to remove championship games from North Carolina. Newspaper editorial boards are highlighting the “casualty count” caused by backlash the “hateful” and “disastrous” law has caused and saying it needs to be repealed. 

  • North Carolina Newspapers Call Out Gov. McCrory For Defending Anti-LGBT “Bathroom Bill”

    ››› ››› JARED HOLT

    North Carolina editorial boards are criticizing Gov. Pat McCrory (R) after he filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department in defense of the state’s anti-LGBT bathroom bill. McCrory claimed that the federal government had no authority to demand state legislators rework the law so it isn't discriminatory, and state newspapers denounced the governor for “defending the indefensible” and engaging in a “disturbing” legal battle that “won’t end well” for North Carolina.

  • North Carolina Editorials Slam Republican "Recklessness And Foolishness" In Rolling Back LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    North Carolina newspaper editorials roundly condemned the Republican-led North Carolina legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory (R) for dismantling LGBT nondiscrimination protections, chastising state Republicans for their "legislative incompetence," "recklessness and foolishness," and "unwarranted intrusion" into local nondiscrimination ordinances.

  • The Koch Brothers' Campaign Against EPA Climate Safeguards Is In Your Newspaper

    ››› ››› DENISE ROBBINS

    At least 16 U.S. newspapers have recently published op-eds by state officials of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the Koch brothers' political advocacy group, urging state legislatures to oppose the EPA's plan to address climate change by limiting carbon pollution from power plants. These newspapers have consistently failed to disclose the authors' oil industry ties, and the op-eds themselves "misleadingly" cite statistics on electricity prices from an industry-funded study, as a media fact-checker has explained.

  • Study: Top NC Newspapers Misses Coverage Gap In Reporting On Medicaid Expansion


    North Carolina's three largest papers by circulation gave little news coverage to the Medicaid coverage gap, or the number of North Carolinians who make too much for Medicaid without expansion but not enough for affordable coverage on the exchanges, mentioning the gap in only 8 out of 80 news articles since the end of the previous legislative session. 28 percent of uninsured North Carolinans would fall into the gap including 54 percent of people of color.

  • Omission Statement: What The Charlotte Observer Isn't Telling Readers About The Voter Integrity Project

    Blog ››› ››› BRIAN POWELL

    The Charlotte Observer's reprint of an article on alleged dead registered voters in North Carolina omitted critical information about an activist group pushing voter fraud mythology that were included in the original story, including its ties to a national voter suppression organization.

    The paper, which cut its full-time statehouse reporting staff earlier this year, relied on an article published a week earlier in Raleigh's News & Observer to inform its readers on the efforts of the Voter Integrity Project of NC (VIP-NC) to challenge the status of thousands of North Carolina voters. The Charlotte Observer did not print the Raleigh report in full, however, and omitted significant details about the group's faulty tactics and failed to provide broader context about the issue of voter fraud. On top of this, both papers have neglected to identify the connection between VIP-NC and True the Vote, a national Tea Party-affiliated organization formed to fear-monger about voter fraud.

    Following are examples of News & Observer's reporting that The Charlotte Observer left out:

    • A quote from N.C. Board of Elections Director of Voter Registration and Absentee Voting Veronica Degraffenreid:

    "The Voter Integrity Project has not brought forth any information to show that someone is voting in the name of another, and I think citizens of North Carolina need to be aware of that."

    • A claim by the director of the VIP-NC, Jay DeLancy, that his method of determining the number of alleged dead voters -- a list of 27,500 names -- was based in part on the intuition of his volunteers:

    They began with last names, then a volunteer would look for potential matches - for example considering an "Elizabeth" and a "Liz" with the same age and address to be a match.

    "It took intuition," DeLancy said. "We trained a lot of volunteers."

    DeLancy said he's confident that at least 90 percent of the names he delivered should be removed from the rolls.

    • Questions about the efficacy of VIP-NC's strategy:

    The nonprofit group used "fuzzy matching," Degraffenreid said. The death data from the Department of Health and Human Services includes age but not a date of birth, which is essential in making matches, she said.

    "The Voter Integrity Project doesn't have really the necessary data to make a determination that a voter is deceased," Degraffenreid said.

    Even a full match doesn't mean a registered voter has died. Degraffenreid recalled removing a man who matched on first, middle and last names, date of birth and county of residence who turned out to be a different voter. He showed up to the polls and voted a provisional ballot when he was told he had been removed, she said.

    • Facts about the scarcity of voter fraud:

    Meanwhile, cases of fraud remain rare. In 2009, the board referred 29 cases of double voting to county district attorneys, according to a board report. Since 2000, the board has referred one case of voter impersonation, the report states.

  • DISCONNECTED: Charting The Charlotte Observer's Failure To Cover The Fight For Internet Access In North Carolina


    CORRECTION: Media Matters has identified a serious error that resulted in the omission of several Charlotte Observer columns and articles discussing municipal broadband during the time of this debate. We cannot support our earlier conclusion that the Charlotte Observer did not inform its readers on the issue of North Carolina's "digital divide" over the past two years. Media Matters prides itself on a long history of accuracy in its media studies, and we apologize for the error.

  • Myths And Facts About Electric Cars


    As automakers are starting to bring electric vehicle (EV) technology into the mainstream, conservative media outlets have repeatedly misled consumers about electric cars by trying to paint them as environmentally harmful and unsafe, among other false claims.