Media slanting stories against Black Rock | NevadaAppeal.com

Media slanting stories against Black Rock

COREY LEWIS, Great Basin Institute, University of Nevada, Reno

I would like to admonish both the print and television media for their sensationalized and slanted reports regarding Sen. Richard Bryan’s recent press conference. In response to escalating numbers of recreational users, increased impacts upon the area, and an outpouring of public concern, Senator Bryan has introduced legislation which will preserve the Black Rock as a legacy for future Nevadans. Recent polls have shown that 75 percent of Nevadans are in favor of the proposed Black Rock National Conservation Area.

Even with this overwhelming majority of public support, our local media has chosen to cast the proposal as a highly controversial and embattled issue. Such polarization of environmental issues is becoming standard practice in the media, does little to inform the public of the facts, and impedes the type of progress which is necessary if we are to find equitable solutions to resource management problems.

When you polarize an issue, you stabilize it, and nothing can get done. The sad fact is that the Black Rock Desert and High Rock Canyons are part of an imperiled ecosystem. It is a place many Nevadans love and enjoy. And yet, it is in danger, in part, because so many people love and enjoy it.

Without increased protection and designation as a National Conservation Area, the Black Rock will continue to suffer until many of its unique biological and historical features have been lost. Nevadans as a whole have spoken out in support of protecting the Black Rock, and still our local media persists in misrepresenting the facts to us, sensationalizing stories merely to sell more newspapers, magazines and commercial time.

Such irresponsibility for ones actions, not only endangers the veracity of the news media, but also endangers the Black Rock we love.