20 September 2011

Ceeb spins story for Tories #nlpoli

Rather than correct a mistaken early report on the cost of the Liberal party’s pension proposal the CBC online decided to torque the story against the Liberals.

In a story on the Liberal election pledge to give retired public servants a 2.5% increase followed by 2.0% per year, the CBC included a claim from the province’s finance department:

Meanwhile, the Department of Finance told CBC News that the Liberals' plan would add $1.2 billion in additional liabilities to the pension plan.

That’s not accurate and the CBC didn’t explain what the finance officials meant.

The follow-on CBC story looked like this.


After a couple of paragraphs of Tory talking points, the Ceeb story didn’t deliver any facts to back up Dunderdale’s claim or explain the finance department’s assessment.

Instead, CBC included more detail on Aylward’s announcement.

And right at the end – where news stories stick the least important information – you get the Liberal’s accounting of costs.

Aylward said increasing payments to a long-neglected group will cost more than $13 million in the first year, and about $10 million extra for each additional year.

Even those readers who trudged on to the end would have already been told repeatedly that this promise is foolhardy and expensive.

And the combined effect of both stories sets readers up to be skeptical of the Liberal explanation before they even got to it.

- srbp -