Dean Wieland of West Fargo wants an answer.
He wrote a letter to Forum Communications Co. newspapers, disappointed that the company didn’t report that a group of Line 3 protesters took over the lobby of a federal building last month in Washington, D.C.
Wieland wrote: “Why was this story not reported in the local media? I did a review of the Grand Forks Herald (and the Forum) of the four days after October and a search of their Facebook page and found no mention of it. There was, to my knowledge, no reporting of this on the local TV news stations. (Forum Communications Co.) has consistently for the last two years had articles about Line 3, mostly favorable to the environmental protesters.”
He concluded: “I await your answers.”
● The event occurred some 1,500 miles from the Red River Valley and out of reach of our reporting staff. There’s nothing sinister at play here. Sometimes, we are at the mercy of our content partners; sometimes, we must acknowledge we can’t cover every single thing; and sometimes, we just miss something.
● If Wieland’s letter is in some way an indictment of a supposed liberal, or favorable, view of the pipeline protesters (versus, say, the rioters at the Capitol last January), it’s not. Line 3 protests are not unique; the Capitol insurrection was.
● Line 3 protests are becoming moot. The pipeline is complete and working.
● And in a weird twist of media irony, news sites often take grief when we do report about protests.
Wieland wants the Interior Department protesters charged. For any who broke the law, we couldn’t agree more.
As for his claims that the Herald, the Forum and others in the company have only published the news that is “mostly favorable to the environmental protesters,” we suggest he acquaint himself with the search tool on our websites.
The Herald and others in the company have posted numerous pieces about Line 3, originating from our own reporters, from our opinion writers, from companies with whom we have content-sharing agreements and from oh-so-many letter writers.
Since early May, the Herald published at least 36 articles, editorials, columns and letters about Enbridge’s Line 3 that protesters likely would say are slanted against their cause. Included in the list are four editorials, written by the Herald and the Duluth News Tribune, that backed the Line 3 project or in some way scolded the protesters. The total does not include at least three more staff editorials written by the Herald in 2019 and 2020.
Meanwhile, with all of that seemingly pro-Enbridge content comes a responsibility to be fair to both sides. So yes, Forum Communications outlets have published stories explaining the protests through the eyes of those who believe the pipeline could damage environmentally sensitive areas in Minnesota while also contributing to climate change. Our company also has published regular opinion columns by Winona Duke, a vocal leader of those who are against the Line 3 project.
Whereas we strongly disagree with any protests that become violent, damage property or become disruptive to everyday life, we appreciate anyone willing to thoughtfully express their opinion on Line 3, or any issue, for that matter.
Wieland seeks answers. Hopefully, this helps.
Below are fast links to more than 30 Enbridge-related pieces published by the Grand Forks Herald – either online, in print or in our e-editions – since May.
Oct. 17: MPR: Line 3 brought a welcome boom.
June 23: Letter: Line 3 has numerous benefits