Miserable reporting on Redskins story

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May 22, 2016 by jacklovelace

On page one of the New York Times Sunday was a story by Dan Barry about the surprising poll that found up to 80 percent of Native Americans surveyed not finding the term Redskins disrespectful.
From a journalism standpoint, the story was so badly done I had to react, and did, as you can see below with my comment included in the Times reaction section.
I’m left to wonder whether it was laziness or ideology that would lead
a New York Times reporter to write a story about attitudes found in a survey, and then not do interviews to find out what was behind those attitudes.
Here’s my comment to the Times:

How can you do a story on this surprising poll and never actually seek out and find some of the 70 to 80 percent of Native Americans who don’t find
“redskin” disrespectful?
Dan Barry leads with some who does, and fills the story with people who don’t like the finding and even question the findings.
But where is the first thing any good reporter would answer for a reader: Why does the vast majority think what it thinks?
By the way, I find the term offensive, but that has nothing to do with going after the opinions that made the poll so shocking.

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