Wednesday, July 23, 2014

To WGAL News8: Get your facts right

It is about time that WGAL, also known as News8, set the record straight on its reporting of the proposed gas pipeline the Williams Co. wants to run through parts of Lebanon and Lancaster County.

For weeks, as the proposed pipeline story was breaking, the station consistently aired a graphic showing a large above-ground pipeline to accompany their reporting on the proposal and the growing resistence to it by property owners that could be affected.

As a viewer and recipient to these reports, I assumed the pipeline being proposed was what was being shown in the graphic, or that the graphic was showing a pipeline similar to the proposed line.

For property owners who attended meetings with the pipeline company, they may have been set straight about it, but for other viewers, like me, there was no clarification.  Until the past two days, when a News8 personality is taped walking part of the proposed line and says the pipeline will be buried three feet below the surface -- oops, in the 2nd of 3 segments, the personality says five feet below the surface (no explanation why the difference).

What a difference that makes.  The eyesore aspect of this line disappeared. And now it makes some viewers wonder what the fuss is really about.  How many gas lines are buried now to bring local gas service? Hundreds of miles' worth just in my county.  And no one seems to be bothered. The same yellow-topped markers are showing in hundreds of areas.  I see several of the markers just on Indian Rock Dam Road in York Twp., one route I take regularly.

The only thing I say different is that this proposed large gas pipeline will have the area on top of it cleared of trees ... but under farm land, the farmer can farm his land as if it wasn't even there.

I am not here to offer an opinion on whether or not the pipeline is good or needed or necessary to take the route they plan to take.  I am here to say that journalists should get their facts right before presenting them to the public.

Misinformation, no matter whether intentional or not, creates wrong ideas and wrong basis for people to draw opinions from.

So the message to News8 is this: Get your facts right and your ducks in a row before presenting a campaign or project to us.

No comments: