***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on grassroots financial supporters to exist. If you appreciate what we do, please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter (even just $5/month would go a long way in sustaining us!) We also offer advertising options for advocacy groups, events and businesses! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News Media” — this is YOUR chance to do something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at:
PO Box 112
Sioux Center, IA 51250
If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.
Those exact words have stuck with me more than anything else any of my college professors ever said. So, thank you to Professor Mark Siebert for instilling that mindset into your journalism students at Grand View.
It seems many others could benefit from embracing that philosophy.
Journalists are naturally inquisitive people. We believe it is our calling to get to the bottom of situations and simply relay facts to folks.
And for nearly one week, that is what I have been doing with the story about World Atlantic Flight WL317 that left Long Beach for Des Moines on April 22.
I’m just one person. So I’m limited by a few factors — mainly time and resources. The “staff” of The Iowa Standard will always only have 24 hours in a day (although I did get some great help this past week from a couple of great friends — you know who you are!).
But there are other media outlets that have plenty of staff and plenty of resources. Yet still, to my knowledge, as of 2 a.m. Saturday morning, no other Iowa media has said anything about Flight WL317.
Now, it is likely my views on illegal immigration are drastically different than the views held by reporters for other Iowa media. If we put our views on paper, I would probably be labeled as the “heartless, inconsiderate” one and they would likely fall on the “compassionate” side.
So, when there are reports that a plane with almost 100 unaccompanied migrant minors landed in Des Moines in the dark of night and nobody knows anything about the operation or the whereabouts of the children — where are all those compassionate folks?
Why has The Des Moines Register not reported on the story?
I know that it is difficult right now because no federal agency has claimed responsibility for the operation, but that doesn’t mean the operation didn’t happen. People still want to know — they still have a right to know. We (the media) just have to tell the people what we know, how we know it, what others say and let them know we’ll keep them posted.
No, we do not have all the answers — probably never will — but we’re doing what we can to find as many as possible.
I acknowledge my “bias” in my writing. I’m a Christian conservative and I don’t put my worldview in the backseat in order to “appear” as though I’m some sort of “middle-of-the-road” writer.
Every political writer is biased. If they didn’t like politics, why would they write about it? If they like politics, they likely have a horse in the race.
But it doesn’t mean we can’t just tell a story and tell the truth, even if it challenges our beliefs and our values.
I struggle to understand why the mainstream media in Iowa, the media that will go out of its way to use “undocumented” instead of illegal, is not showing any concern for these children.
We Are Iowa even published a report that said the claim of migrant children being flown to Des Moines and housed at the Polk County Jail is “false.”
They didn’t just say it was false, they “verified” it was false.
One of the three reasons they felt they could verify this is because the Des Moines Airport told them no flight arrived in Des Moines on April 22 from Long Beach. But the Des Moines Airport said that was their initial response to We Are Iowa’s inquiry and they later gave them updated information. The story isn’t updated, though.
I know The Des Moines Register has been working on the story, but I don’t see anything out there.
Why is the media ignoring this?
I was told a radio host in Des Moines also told some people that The Iowa Standard is incorrect in their reporting on this flight.
My goal is to never ever be wrong on any story, especially a story of this magnitude.
While the whole situation is disappointing from a media perspective, it also reinforces why I do what I do with The Iowa Standard. Because there are truths out there that the rest of the media isn’t comfortable with or would rather not report.
And it’s why The Iowa Standard has to exist.
A lot of reporting is listening to your gut and following the leads where they take you. Even when we hope a lead will take us down one path, only to drag us down another. We have to follow the facts.
Regardless of how we feel about the illegal immigration issue, the reality is for nearly a week the whereabouts of almost 100 unaccompanied minor migrants have been unknown. And nobody else in the Iowa media thinks it is worth alerting Iowans to that fact?
The whole thing with the media not publicizing Louis Fountain’s bigoted, racist tweets about Herschel Walker and black conservatives — I get that is an ideological difference.
But in this situation, we’re talking about kids. Well, if we’re willing to talk at all.
I encourage others in the media to pick up this story. They are missing out — and so are their readers.