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Honest reporting

Alex Wilcox | Monday, January 28, 2013

This past weekend I experienced my first March for Life. My friends and I piled into a bus Thursday night and settled in for the 11-hour trek to Washington D.C.

The March for Life covers a mile and a half stretch of land from the National Mall to the steps of the Supreme Court, yet we were told it would take two and half hours to complete. With so much time allotted to cover so little ground, I was left with plenty of time to consider the many questions buzzing around in my head. When is a life considered a life? Will our countries policy on abortion ever change? How long has it been since I could feel my toes? Above all else though: Why have I never heard of this?

I soon realized the answer to this question was the attention – or lack thereof – dedicated to the March for Life by the media. Prior to embarking, all marchers had to attend a pre-March meeting, in which we were told how to handle any reporters or journalists. However, while we were marching, I was shocked at the apparent cold shoulder given to us by the media. There were hardly any cameras, I didn’t see a single reporter, nor was I asked a single question.

Year after year the March for Life is held without a single story or report from any major news networks. This year the March reportedly had its greatest turnout yet. With this record attendance, it appeared the March for Life could no longer be ignored, as The New York Times reluctantly reported the “tens of thousands” who came out.

Over 400,000 people participated in Friday’s March for Life, more than the amount of people who attended President Obama’s inauguration and much more than the 3,200 that showed up in D.C. the day after the March to protest the NRA. Yet the NRA protest was the top story on ABC News that night, while the inauguration made the front page of every newspaper across the country. The March for Life, meanwhile, made the cover of one newspaper, The Observer.

The March for Life dwarfed the NRA protest, but no one watching the news or reading the newspaper would know that. Isn’t a protest with half a million followers a bigger story than a protest with just a few thousand? Both protests essentially are fighting for the same issue: life.
So why is it that the media shows such bias? Whether it be to get better ratings or fatter pockets, this trend has to stop. Stop trying to sell screaming headlines and juicy gossip. Give the people the full, unbiased story. Fair and honest reporting used to mean something, and as an aspiring journalist, I hope we can return to that point.

Contact Alex Wilcox at awilcox1@nd.edu

The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.