When Reporter’s Biases Attack

Robin Marty

The Associated Press released one heck of a correction on a story today. 

When you are a reporter for a news entity like the Associated Press, you’re expected to keep your everyday biases out of your work.  But it appears that writer Ben Nuckols may have let his slip a bit on a recent story about New Jersey abortion doctor Stephen Brigham. 

In an article about Brigham, who is accused of initiating illegal second trimester abortions in the state of New Jersey, Nuckols wrote:

The abortion business can be lucrative for the relatively few doctors who perform the procedure regularly, according to research by the Guttmacher Institute. The median price in 2005 for an abortion at 10 weeks was $430, and at 20 weeks, when the procedure is more complicated, it was $1,260, the Guttmacher Institute found.

Now the Associated Press has issued the following correction:

In a Sept. 9 story about an abortion doctor, The Associated Press erroneously reported that the Guttmacher Institute said the abortion business can be lucrative. The Guttmacher Institute provided costs for abortions but did not say the business could be lucrative.

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Erroneous?  Or just one writer’s opinion stuck into his “hard news” story?

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