Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Yoohoo, Washington Post! It's time to link to BOTH sides of the same-sex marriage debate.

[updated 5:30 p.m. to note that the Post corrected its error. See here.]

By Diane Silver

I fondly remember the good old days in journalism school when our professors told us about those silly traditional journalism values like fairness and covering both sides of an issue.

Coverage of today's vote by the U.S. House on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage provides a case in point. To no one's surprise, the House failed to get the required 2/3 majority needed to send the ban to the voters.

While today's AP story posted at the The Washington Post web site does quote people on both sides of the issue, the "On The Net" feature at the bottom of the story only provides links to the organizations that want to ban marriage.

As of 1:58 p.m. Central, the only links posted are for Alliance for Marriage and Traditional Values Coalition.

The problem is that failing to link to pro-marriage groups gives the casual reader the idea that there are no organizations that support same-sex marriage. (Wrong.) Where do the folks on our side of the issue go for more information?

Memo to the Post's online editors: Ever hear of the Human Rights Campaign? What about Marriage Equality USA?

I'm a former newspaper reporter, and I know what it's like to prepare things on deadline. The Washington Post is a fine newspaper, but someone definitely dropped the ball here.

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