Shanley Media P.S.

[Note: Friends of Justice is a personal blog. I speak only for myself.]

Dear Friend of Justice,

Jim D’Entremont suggested that I supplement my rant with specific examples of the media coverage.

Particularly annoying was the coverage by WBUR, which began with the outrage of victim advocates that Shanley was exercising his rights. Then Monica Brady-Myerov juxtaposed a sound bite of Robert Shaw calling repressed memory theory “junk science,” making the statement appear unsupported, with an uncritical summary of the ADA’s claim that repressed memory is widely recognized as real by distinguished scientific professionals.

The Boston Globe also began with victims outrage. Then they quote Shaw calling repressed memory “junk science” and immediately follow that with Mitchell Garabedian and Robert Costello, who says he was abused by another priest.

The Boston Herald story was entirely about victims advocates and their outrage.

Suprisingly good was an article by Keri Roche in the Waltham Daily News Tribune. Waltham is a town of about 60,000 west of Boston. I was surprised that they even bothered to send a reporter to cover the story. When I first looked at the Shanley articles I’d received from my google alert, I confess I skipped over the Waltham article. I read it just now and it caught me by surprise.

Roche’s story was devoid of sensationalism. There were no quotes from outraged victims. Instead she reported on what was actually said in the courtroom. She disposed of the “junk science” sound bite and instead discussed Shaw’s arguments.

Her reporting on the DA’s case was equally fair and accurate.

Roche was also the only journalist to report that there were issues other than repressed memory.

The Boston Globe could learn a lot about journalism from Keri Roche.