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Sen. Craig counsel says journalist pressure led to false guilty plea

In this news story, the inverted pyramid style of news writing was effectively used to include the most important content at the beginning of the piece, followed by content that merited its placement proportionally lower in the story. The use of words like "admitted" in reference to Craig -- whose representation has already publicly blamed journalists for a false guilty plea -- jeopardize the integrity of the story. "Admitted" is not an unbiased or balanced word; its connotation is one of expressed guilt. It's dangerous for journalists to use such words, especially when journalists have been put in a negative light by the articles primary sources. The Associated Press used the word in its story.

In the New York Times story, a more investigative approach is employed in the coverage of allegations against Sen. Craig, which adds a sense of fairness and thoroughness to the reporting done for the piece. The New York Times conducted its own investigation on "lewd conduct" in the Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport, and used documentation -- often seen as the most reliable, unchanging and not easily misunderstood source of information -- to compare the handling of the Craig investigation and subsequent charges to other cases in which men have been cited for inappropriate conduct in the airport's men's restrooms. Worded in a fair manner, the article protects the integrity of the piece, the journalist who wrote it and The New York Times, considering Craig's counsel has pitted his client and his case against working investigative journalists.

http://www.startribune.com/587/story/1412821.html -- Associated Press via Minneapolis Star Tribune

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/10/washington/10craig.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin -- The New York Times