Journalism or Fear-Mongering?

Today I got the following e-mail: Compass News (PDF – identifying information was removed) about Agenda 21, and a Rural Council created through Executive Order 13575 (PDF). The article starts with “Christians Beware!” and that made me sit to attention and I read the whole thing. I was a little off put by how the article is written, there seems to be no links to facts, and there is name calling, both of which make me cringe.

How can people know if this information is truth, or just fear-mongering?

I wanted to know, so I did my own research and read both sides of the argument. Here are a couple articles: “Theft of rural and agricultural lands for UN Agenda 21” and “Debunked: Executive Order 13575 – Establishment of the White House Rural Council. And I couldn’t find anything about a US law making it a felony to holler at Obama from the street (if you find something please share a link).

I recommend doing your own research as well, if you find anything post a link in the comments.

My Response

Now I got this email from one of my dearly loved family members, and responded with the following e-mail, which I think explains my position quite clearly, on any type of writing that does not include links to facts and does include name calling:

I’m not seeing any links to facts in this article. So I did some research myself and read stuff from both sides of the argument, and I’m not taking sides, only wanted to share this link which seems to explain what is actually happening with the council that they are talking about for Rural communities:

Also, personally, I think its terrible to call people or groups names like “ding-bats” or anything else. It is possible to report information, include links to facts of the information, and be reputable, but when name throwing enters the scene, its just a way to galvanize the reader one way or the other depending on what they think is true, whether or not they do the research themselves.

This article seems to be throwing around a lot of fear without any facts, and if they were writing these articles for educational purposes, they would include the facts. That’s how I have to do it in college, and if I didn’t include my resources I would lose credit, and by not linking to factual resources, and calling names, they lose credit. It seems like they could write much better then this and then I would be more interested in reading these articles.

Your Turn

Is the article clearly written and fact based journalism or fear-mongering? How would you have responded?

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