Action Alert!

Please, stop grousing about media coverage of the March for Life

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Jan 28, 2013

A word of advice for my fellow pro-lifers: Stop complaining about media coverage of the March for Life.

Sure, the coverage is paltry. Yes, the stories are biased. The same media outlets that give front-page coverage to protests involving a few hundred demonstrators virtually ignore a mass march by several hundred thousand.

But we knew this would happen. It’s happened before: 39 times before, to be exact. The mainstream media have always given short shrift to the March for Life, and until something changes they always will.

The lack of coverage isn’t an oversight; it’s intentional. One generation of editors set the policy. A second generation, recruited trained by the first, has stuck to it. We aren’t going to be able to persuade these people that the March deserves more ink; we aren’t even going to be able to shame them into noticing a mass demonstration that takes place under their noses. Their decisions have already been made.

Are you frustrated by the mainstream media coverage? So am I. But complaining among ourselves hasn’t accomplished anything. Even calling attention to grotesque examples of skewed coverage has failed to bring about change. The mainstream media are not friendly toward the pro-life movement. You knew that long ago. Why pretend to be surprised by the latest evidence?

You have two choices: You can keep cursing the darkness, or you can light a candle. You can continue complaining that the mainstream media ignore stories about the culture of life, or you can turn your attention (and maybe even your financial support) toward those media outlets that don’t ignore the March for Life, that do have an interest in the pro-life movement, that can see the importance of the culture of life.

Such as (I immodestly suggest) this web site.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Feb. 01, 2013 3:07 PM ET USA

    There are more than two choices. We have a right to protest the media, especially when opportunities present themselves. We have a right and an obligation to argue with reporters and editors and publishers face to face. This is another form of candle lighting.

  • Posted by: Colonel Joe - Jan. 29, 2013 10:39 PM ET USA

    Or you could stop buying and reading and listening to the biased press. If no one listens and no purchases their rags, then they'll have to close shop!!!

  • Posted by: - Jan. 29, 2013 9:00 PM ET USA

    It may be that the real value of the March is organizational - it provides a great opportunity to show pro-lifers they are not alone, and shows those new to the movement the reality of media bias, which they might not have experienced before. That said, Marchers should concentrate on contacting their local media before attending -- many good stories in smaller, local newspapers and TV. Media people on national level have to biased to advance to that level in their careers.

  • Posted by: dad2dlj - Jan. 29, 2013 6:10 PM ET USA

    My favorite was that one of the two "all news" stations in Washington, D.C., limited its coverage to traffic announcements that a planned "rally in downtown Washington was going to result in some street closings near the Capitol." The "rally" was nameless; they could have just as easily been referring to the "Janitors for Justice" picketing a street corner.