Dean Wieland of West Fargo wants an answer.
He wrote a letter to Forum Communications Co. newspapers, disappointed that the company didn’t report that a group of Line 3 protesters took over the lobby of a federal building last month in Washington, D.C.
Wieland wrote: “Why was this story not reported in the local media? I did a review of the Grand Forks Herald (and the Forum) of the four days after October and a search of their Facebook page and found no mention of it. There was, to my knowledge, no reporting of this on the local TV news stations. (Forum Communications Co.) has consistently for the last two years had articles about Line 3, mostly favorable to the environmental protesters.”
He concluded: “I await your answers.”
- The Washington, D.C., event occurred some 1,500 miles from the Red River Valley and out of reach of our reporting staff. There’s nothing sinister at play here. Sometimes, we are at the mercy of our content partners; sometimes, we must acknowledge we can’t cover every single thing; and sometimes, we just miss something.
- If Wieland’s letter is in some way an indictment of a supposed liberal, or favorable, view of the pipeline protesters (versus, say, the rioters at the Capitol last January), it’s not. Line 3 protests are not unique; the Capitol insurrection was.
- Line 3 protests are becoming moot. The pipeline is complete and working.
- And in a weird twist of media irony, news sites often take grief when we do report about protests.
Wieland wants the Interior Department protesters charged. For any who broke the law, we couldn’t agree more.
As for his claims that the Herald, the Forum and others in the company have only published the news that is “mostly favorable to the environmental protesters,” we suggest he acquaint himself with the search tool on our websites.
The Herald and others in the company have posted numerous pieces about Line 3, originating from our own reporters, from our opinion writers, from companies with whom we have content-sharing agreements and from oh-so-many letter writers.
Since early May, the Herald published at least 36 articles, editorials, columns and letters about Enbridge’s Line 3 that protesters likely would say are slanted against their cause. Included in the list are four editorials, written by the Herald and the Duluth News Tribune, that backed the Line 3 project or in some way scolded the protesters. The total does not include at least three more staff editorials written by the Herald in 2019 and 2020.
Meanwhile, with all of that seemingly pro-Enbridge content comes a responsibility to be fair to both sides. So yes, Forum Communications outlets have published stories explaining the protests through the eyes of those who believe the pipeline could damage environmentally sensitive areas in Minnesota while also contributing to climate change. Our company also has published regular opinion columns by Winona Duke, a vocal leader of those who are against the Line 3 project.
Whereas we strongly disagree with any protests that become violent, damage property or become disruptive to everyday life, we appreciate anyone willing to thoughtfully express their opinion on Line 3, or any issue, for that matter.
Wieland seeks answers. Hopefully, this helps.
Below are fast links to more than 30 Enbridge-related pieces published by the Grand Forks Herald — either online, in print or in our e-editions — since May.
- Nov. 2: Rob Port column: Why don’t violent pipeline protests receive the same scrutiny as violent Trump protests?
- Oct. 30: Letter: Too bad Washington had to endure what happened in Minnesota.
- Oct. 30: Letter: Line 3 kept area communities afloat
- Oct. 26: Letter: Many benefits from Line 3 completion
- Oct 24: Letter: Benefits of Line 3 will be long-lasting
- Oct 20: Herald editorial: Thanks to Line 3, a windfall was felt
- Oct. 17: MPR: Line 3 brought a welcome boom.
- Oct. 15: Grand Forks Herald: Line 3 workers boost lodging tax revenue in northwest Minnesota
- Oct. 14: Letter: Line 3 protesters choosing disruption over respect
- Oct. 2: Herald editorial: Line 3 is in the ground, pumping oil as it should be
- Sept. 25: MPR: Criminal cases against Line 3 protesters stress rural Minnesota legal system
- Sept. 17: Letter: Line 3 protests have gone too far
- Sept. 7: Star Tribune: Line 3 protests at Capitol, Walz residence yield different outcomes
- Aug. 30: Letter: Two events and the real story about Line 3
- Aug. 29: Pioneer Press: Minnesota troopers arrest 69 protesting Line 3 outside governor's mansion
- Aug. 25: Star Tribune: More than 1,000 protest Enbridge Line 3 at Minnesota Capitol
- Aug. 19: Duluth News Tribune: Hundreds protest Line 3 permits in Duluth
- Aug. 11: Letter: Those protesting Line 3 should pack up and go home
- Aug. 5: Letter: Line 3 protesters have reached end of the road
- July 28: Forum News Service: Five arrested in Line 3 protest in Wadena County
- July 20: Forum News Service: Winona Duke among 12 arrested in Line 3 protest in Wadena County
- July 19: Duluth News Tribune editorial: 'We are going to replace an aging pipeline,' Walz says
- July 17: Letter: A visit to northern Minnesota will show Line 3 benefits
- July 16: Forum News Service: Demonstrators gather against Line 3 in Wadena County
- July 8: MPR: In Clearwater County, sheriff aims to keep the peace amid Line 3 resistance
- July 6: Letter: Line 3 benefits are extensive
- July 5: Letter: Line 3 is not ruining Minnesota's wild rice waters
- June 23: Letter: Line 3 has numerous benefits
- June 22: Letter: Line 3 once again gets the appropriate approval
- June 15: Letter: Grateful for the Line 3 project
- June 9: Bemidji Pioneer: 179 arrested Monday at Line 3 protest in Hubbard County
- June 8: Duluth News Tribune editorial: Pray for peace, even if that's not Line 3 agitators' aim
- June 3: Rob Port column: A glimpse behind the curtain as activists plan major escalation in Line 3 protests
- May 27: Letter: Line 3 will help avoid dangerous train derailments
- May 18: Letter: Line 3 benefits applauded in northern Minnesota
- May 2: Letter: Line 3 good for lakes, streams
This other view is the opinion of the editorial board of our sister publication, the Grand Forks Herald.