Here’s a copy of my email to the paper and their response:
Can you please explain why there was no coverage in the Progress on the Tea Party event that was held downtown July 4th afternoon? It was attended by a large number of members of the community, many of whom probably still read the newspaper. There really is no excuse for this, but I would like to have the courtesy of a response.
Karen R. Harris
I’d be happy to respond.
The 7/4 Tea Party was not covered because we chose to cover the McIntire Park fireworks story instead that day. Weekends, in particular, require us to make choices on coverage that are bound to leave some folks happy and others unhappy.
We also did not cover this because we already had covered a local Tea Party event on Thursday … the protest of Rep. Perriello’s office regarding the Cap and Trade issue. This clearly is an issue that is before Congress, involves the actual vote of a local elected official and the reaction of the Tea Party in the protest. It involves legislation before Congress now, which will greatly impact our country one way or the other.
I hope you saw our coverage of that story, but I’ll paste it below here in case you missed it. It was on page A1.
That is an incredibly lame excuse by the Daily Progress. I guess the managing editor also has trouble chewing gum and walking. To say that the paper can’t cover two events is just silly. To ignore the most important political event that day is appalling. What is going on?
It is hard to believe that a Democratic-led event of similar size and organization would be ignored. The excuse is not acceptable.
The event was so dynamic, exciting, historical and just plain fun. I have been feeling isolated because of my political beliefs. No more. Even Colin Powell is worried about taxes and spending. We are witnessing a complete turnaround and the Progress is laging behind.
Thank you all for arranging such an exciting event., I loved it.
This is my response to the publisher. I hope I didnt say anything offensive but my blood is boiling.
My dear bias newspaper publisher, As of this morning I have not seen anything about the local Tea Party Rally that happen on July 4,2009 at Jackson Park. May I ask why you and your kind have chosen to ignore protest like that but, when 4 or 5 people show up to protest anything against any Conservative you will put it in BOLD lettering. And the way you have really slanted the news to your favorite candidate really gets to me. I am so glad that I wont support your costly paper anymore. Besides it isnt even written here but way down in Richmond.God the way the 4th branch has really gone so far left, And I am not rich ,not ignorant,not racist (my wife is oh I am going to say that word Black) but I do understand how much this government with Tom and his kind up in Washington has taken more and more of my rights. Yes I am a smoker and I do pay my FAIR share of taxes to help the downtrodden(give me a break). Maybe you dont understand or even care behind your glass plated room but come out and do some of the work I do . My hands are blistered and rough but atleast it is an honest day work. I could go on and on but I even dout you will even read or respond or even understand. And your great government I want to thank each one for my raise and bonus this year NOT! because of their higher taxes on my company they couldnt afford to give us more it was either that or fire a few so they just told us to keep on working,and guess what we will because we know it isnt their fault .So put that in your peace pipe and smoke ooops I forgot you better pay the taxes before you .
Now here is their response to my letter
Good morning, Mr. Miller:
Thanks for the message.
In response, I’d like to explain our decision-making here that resulted in no coverage of the Tea Party rally on Saturday. It begins last Thursday, when the paper covered a Tea Party protest at Rep. Perriello’s office and included a front page story in Friday’s edition, which I hope you had a chance to read.
On the weekend, when our staffing requires many choices about what to cover and what we must bypass, we selected the McIntire fireworks story line, as this could be the final year of that festival. Like the Tea Party rally, it drew hundreds of folks.
The Progress news department consists of some 25 individuals who, almost to a person, live in the greater Charlottesville community. We write about and care about our community. The paper is now physically printed at a facility in Hanover County, which may be what you reference below.
In summary, we certainly understand the disappointment of the rally participants. I’m sorry that you view that as an example of some media bias, but respectfully suggest there is no such influence at work here.
Please contact us any time.
From: McConnell, Lawrence
Sent: Monday, July 06, 2009 11:37 PM
Cc: McCance, Charles M.
Subject: Re: Why didnt you cover
Mr. Miller: I’m sharing your message with our managing editor, McGregor McCance, who will be happy to reply to you more fully. I am sorry to read of your disappointment in our newspaper, which we believe to be unfounded based on the continuity and comprehensiveness of our news content on a daily basis. And incidentally, our news staff of more than two dozen journalists live and work right here. Thanks for caring enough to write us.