Can you write about a survey on friendly-fire and omit the survey?


A survey that asked how uniformed NYPD officers treated their undercover brethren made news; this, after an African-American undercover officer had been killed in a friendly-fire incident.

RaceWire.org, ColorLines magazine’s weblog, posted an item about it.  But it omitted a link to the survey.  When I clicked to the New York City news source, NY1, I found that they had omitted it too.

Before I shared this via Facebook, I refused to do so if I could find the survey; after some minutes of semi-zealous research, I found nothing.

This makes me wonder about what standard news audiences should expect or demand.  A sometime mentor, who runs a national radio show, spoke a lesson that stuck in my head: “There is so much bad journalism out there!”

This isn’t a big deal, but…yeah it is.

All news organizations, including NY1 and RaceWire.org, need to abide by consistent rules.  Either post the PDF, or a link to the survey, or explain why they do not.  If your audience can peruse and scrutinize the survey, they can judge its worth; without it, they have to assume.

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