Oregonian Disputes Meth Criticism As “Fake Expose”


Willamette Week’s criticism of The Oregonian’s coverage of methamphetamine is a “one-sided, intellectually dishonest, fake expose,” says Oregonian managing editor/enterprise Steve Engelberg. In a post on Poynter.org, Engelberg says the Willamette Week story, which was digested yesterday in Crime & Justice news, “meets no acceptable journalistic standard and is filled with hyperbole, sloppy reporting, and the use of intentionally misleading statistics.”

Engelberg says his newpaper “showed, through an exhaustive statistical analysis, interviews and a review of documents, that policies to deprive drug traffickers of their necessary ingredients can be highly effective and cost taxpayers little.” Engelberg contends that a survey cited by Willamette Week of adults’ self-reporting meth use that shows no overall change beteen 2002 and 2004 is “of little value for tracking trends.” Engelberg disputes the idea that his newspaper is erroneously using an increase in meth treatment as a proxy for a growing meth problem. The editor notes that “the annual number of court-ordered treatment cases rose by 57,000 from 1993 through 2003, while the number of non-court cases rose 46,000. Excluding “drug court” cases, the average growth in meth treatment was 15 percent a year from 1993-2003. With drug court cases included, it’s 18 percent.”

Link: http://poynter.org/forum/view_post.asp?id=11245

Comments are closed.