Monday, July 04, 2005

Failing Economy Finally Mentioned...barely

by Kyle Michaelis
It took almost two weeks for the Omaha World-Herald to mention in its pages that Nebraska was recently ranked 50th - yes, DEAD LAST - in 2004 economic growth. Should have been a huge story, right? In all that time, surely they were just writing the perfect article about the horrible condition of the Nebraska economy after 6 years of Republican non-leadership...right?


Instead, the World-Herald has covered this one up as much as possible, choosing to hide the facts instead of reporting them. The mention they finally gave to this terrible economic news was buried in this story about a Creighton study focuing on the weakness of a single industry (food processing) rather than the failing of the entire state's economy. Here's what the World-Herald wrote so belatedly and inadequately:
Growth in Nebraska's manufacturing sector continued to accelerate in June despite weakness in the state's large food processing industry, according to a regional manufacturing survey.

The report puts into perspective a study by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis indicating that Nebraska had the slowest growth nationwide in gross state product in 2004.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index report showed that growth in Nebraska's manufacturing sector accelerated for the third time in four months. The state's index rose to 63.7 from 61.4.

A reading of more than 50 means supply managers foresee growth for the state over the next three to six months.

"Economic strength in most sectors offset much weaker numbers for food processors in the state. I expect international economic embargoes of U.S. beef like that of the Japanese and Taiwanese to continue to negatively affect the Nebraska economy in the months ahead," said Ernie Goss, director of the Creighton University Economic Forecasting Group and author of the report.

His analysis echoed that of economists from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which released the report showing Nebraska ranked last nationwide in 2004 economic growth, increasing at a rate of just 0.9 percent...

How good of the World-Herald to finally "put into perspective" news that they never reported to begin with. Not on the front page. Not anywhere. Even this article ran deep inside the paper on the second page of the business section. It also ran on Saturday, which is the least-read day of any newspaper. How crooked is that?

My God, it's not every year that your state gets the dishonor of being declared the unofficial Stagnation National Champion. Closing your eyes to this fact, hiding it from your readers before explaining it away doesn't make the numbers any less true.

A newspaper that covers-up rather than covering the news? This is reprehensible. This is appalling. More and more, it seems to me....this is business as usual with the Omaha World-Herald.


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