Media Moves

Philly reporters need to find critics

February 9, 2007

Ken Shepherd of the Business & Media Institute finds fault with a story in the business section of the Philadelphia Inquirer about a city-wide ban on trans fats in restaurants that fails to find critics.

Philadelphia InquirerShepherd wrote, “It’s not a difficult concept. When you’re a newspaper reporter documenting a new government-imposed burden on business, you find supporters and critics of the rule. It’s business journalism 101. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Patrick Kerkstra and Julie Stoiber could use a refresher course, apparently.

“In their February 9 story, the Inquirer staff writers only cited one critic of the city’s new trans fat ban, an official with the American Academy of Chefs. But no eatery owners who will have to switch to more expensive oils were cited.

“Kerkstra and Stoiber mentioned in passing that trans fat free oils, such as peanut oil, are more expensive. But even then they insisted the cost was not a big deal for restaurateurs.

“’At Scarduzio’s Brasserie [Perrier], they would find peanut oil instead of the partially hydrogenated oil he used to use. It costs about $15,000 more a year, Scarduzio estimated, but is worth it because consumers want it,’ they reported. For comparison, that $2,000 more than a minimum wage employee makes in Pennsylvania in an entire year.”

Read more here.

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