Full Statement from Ira Glass:
After this story was broadcast, when we went back and listened, we realized that the tone was a bit snarky. Yes there are places in this story where we give proper credit to the economic developers for what they are able to accomplish, where we hear their side of things. But overall the balance is off. There are no factual errors in the story. We stand by the conclusions in the story. But the tone is off. Striking the proper tone is something we devote a lot of time and care to on our show, and in fifteen years on the air there's only one other story where I think we dropped the ball like we did here. We all regret this, and we've communicated that to the IEDC.
Planet Money is a co-production of NPR News and our radio program. When a Planet Money story appears on NPR's shows, NPR's editors supervise it. When it appears on "This American Life," I and my producers are the final editors. So any problems with the tone of this story are because of editing choices we made here at "This American Life," not because of decisions made at NPR News.
Edward, I'm told that you think Adam should not be saying a source "lied" or "spun" the facts. If that's going to be in your article, I'd like to say that I strenuously disagree. If a source is lying or spinning, I think it's a reporter's obligation to point that out to the audience. When a salesperson for Saginaw tells Adam in this story that things in that city's economy are going great, and he finds out later that unemployment there is 13 percent and the FBI has named it the most violent city in the country, it's appropriate for him to label this as well-meaning salesmanship. In other words, as he says in the story "they're lying, or, at least, they're spinning." It is not going great in Saginaw. I can't understand why a reporter would NOT point that out. We got many emails from listeners who were grateful for us deconstructing the sales cliches peddled by the IEDC members. This is a standard part of our coverage of all sorts of things on public radio, whether the reporter is Steve Inskeep in Pakistan or Danny Zwerdling in Washington, and seems appropriate in this story as well.
Use your Facebook login and see what your friends are reading and sharing.
Now bringing you back...