Here, I’m going to provide two articles that were promoted on the front page of two different sites. The articles are on similar stories (though not the same story) and came out on the same day. After you check out the article, I’m going to walk you through, side-by-side, why each article got the rating it did.
RATING: -1 / 0
RATING: +2 / +2
So, right away, you can see how similar these topics are — and how disparate the ratings. Once you’ve read the articles, we’ll go over how I approach ratings.
WHOSE VOICES ARE HEARD?
“It was there that a network of environmental activists and longtime African American residents joined forces to stop the building of a natural gas compressor station in Buckingham’s historically Black community of Union Hill.”
“Rose, a Black retiree whose home on nearly 2 acres would have been among the closest to the proposed compressor station, said she feels “vindicated” after the hours spent attending meetings, speaking at panels across the country and exhibiting a tenacity she didn’t know she had.”
“A day earlier, Duke Energy & Dominion Energy announced that they were scrapping plans for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline due to ongoing delays and increasing cost uncertainty, which threatens the economic viability of the project.
“This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States,” Thomas F. Farrell, II, Dominion Energy chairman, and Lynn J. Good, Duke Energy chair, said in a joint statement. “Until these issues are resolved, the ability to satisfy the country’s energy needs will be significantly challenged.””
Includes the voices of civilians, activists, and corporate press, with a priority on the voice of locals.
Includes no citizens or activists. Only quotes the judge, attorneys, military, and energy companies.
WHAT LANGUAGE IS USED?
“It was a surprising twist in a fight that had included intense community opposition, a concession from the two companies that they couldn’t overcome the ballooning cost of the project — which had nearly doubled to $8 billion from its original estimate of about $4.5 billion — and uncertainty surrounding the pipeline’s possible completion in early 2022, which would have been an almost three-and-a-half-year delay.”
“The $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile underground pipeline sparked months of protests, sometimes violent, during its construction near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border.”
“The agency had said the pipeline posed no significant environmental issues after an additional year of review, as ordered by the court.”
Balanced language. Acknowledges issues both internal and external, centers people/communities.
Mentions protester violence but not state/corporate violence. Repeatedly mentions that there is no danger, consciously minimizing protester complaints. Brings up corporate concerns of pipeline cancellation but largely ignores environmental concerns.
WHAT DOES IT ADVOCATE?
“”Environmental justice is not merely a box to be checked,” U.S. Circuit Judge Stephanie Thacker wrote in the ruling.”
“U.S. District Judge James Boasberg wrote in a 24-page order that he was “mindful of the disruption such a shutdown will cause,” but said he had concluded that it was necessary.”
Overall focus is on the power of community action to make changes at home and protect vulnerable residents.
Overall focus is on the cost of regulation to big businesses and the societal importance of those businesses being given more control.
Collective/Individualist: Focus on community action non-profits achieving material results gets this a -1.
Collective/Individualist: Heavy focus on the downside of regulation or any State interference in corporate action suggests a +2.
Progressive/Conservative: While the article is race-conscious, it is not advocating for any sort of systemic change, merely obeying a judge’s orders. Thus, this gets a 0.
Progressive/Conservative: Heavy focus on the prioritization of the wants of the wealthy over the needs of the poor. The strong hierarchical bent and reinforcement of current power structures gets a +2.
So that’s the gist of how these ratings work. Now I just have to do that, you know, a ton of times for every outlet and average the results over a span of weeks and months.
Did you read the articles? Do you disagree with my analysis? Did you notice something important that you think I may have missed? Let me know!
And if you have any interest in being a reader for me, please let me know! I can offer you nothing but my thanks, but if it interests you, I’d be happy to talk.