Certain newspaper articles leave me wondering what has become of professional journalism. Of course, these are stories about wolves, those four-legged beasts that seem to be either loathed or loved, detracting everyone, journalists included, from any semblance of objectivity.
But those writing and getting paid for reporting news should at least adhere to two of the primary obligations of journalism, telling the truth and verifying facts.
A recent article in The Oregonian, written by La Grande (eastern Oregon) based reporter Richard Cockle cites these statistics on wolf populations:
Klavins explains that the likely reason for the significant drop in livestock predations is the increased use of non-lethal measures as well as the stable base of elk and deer for wolves to prey on.
Why am I surprised? In September 2012, a post by Jeremy Bruskotter for The Wildlife News examined Dave Mech’s recent statement that scientists and the media sanctify the wolf. The Wildlife News provided proof that the opposite is true. According to a study done by Bruskotter (along with Melanie J. Houston and David Fan) that reviewed over 6,000 articles, more than 70% of the paragraphs coded were found to depict wolves in a negative manner.
Wolves kill hunting dogs near Libby
Posted: Friday, February 15, 2013 10:00 pm
By Ryan Murray/Special to the Inter lake | 46 comments
LIBBY — A thrilling hunt ended in the worst way for several local cat hunters, as a harrowing night led to an unexpected and sad end.
Three hounds set loose in wild country by their owners to tree a mountain lion were never again seen alive by their owners.
The dogs’ owners, Phil Soucy, Clyde Carpenter and Todd Hittle, were chasing the cat between Flower and Parmenter creeks, just two miles from the edge of Woodway Park on Feb. 2.
The hunters circled the area to look for fresh wolf tracks heading in the direction they wanted to free the hounds and finding none, deemed it safe for the dogs.
They were wrong.
Click here if you want to read more, but I understand if you’ve had enough. We know this type of story, slanted against wolves when they do what is natural. There is nothing here about the risk these hunters take on when they release their dogs in the wilderness to hunt for cougar, nothing about the accountability they should assume for the deaths of their dogs. I feel for the dogs, and I feel for the 14 year old kid who lost his pet, but my usually sympathetic heart does not fall for this very biased piece of “Frowny-face” journalism.
The following story appeared on KXLF.com news, written by Katy Harris. This comes from Montana, so one could expect anti-wolf rhetoric to come through. But it doesn’t, except for perhaps the grim details of the cattle deaths that are attributed to wolves. The problem is discussed in a non-hysterical manner, and a solution is explored. The language is mostly calm and the sources cited seem credible. Click on the headline to read the story.
Posted: Jan 31, 2013 5:03 PM by Katy Harris KXLF News
Updated: Feb 4, 2013 11:52 AM