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Thread: Alaska Dispatch - Journalism or Propaganda?

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    Default Alaska Dispatch - Journalism or Propaganda?

    Craig Medred, a reporter for the Alaska Dispatch, has written several recent columns on Cook Inlet setnetting. They are filled with inaccuracies and flat out untruths. I don't have time to get to the nuts and bolts, but wanted to link to the propaganda, and start a discussion in which we can identify some to the complete untruths contained in it. Shame on this publication for posting this stuff as "Alaska News".

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/articl...hat-it-bycatch

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/articl...salmon-fishery

  2. #2

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    This shouldn't come as a surprise from the AD. A good majority of their articles are of the high school level or worse as far as levels of accuracy or unbiased-ness (probably not even a word, but you get the point). Between Medred and Sinnott, the outdoors/wildlife articles are more of a comic strip for entertainment than actual truth or accuracy.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Medred is an opinion writer who pens editorials, plain and simple. That's fine, though I agree that his pieces should be labeled as such.

    That said, hats off to the Dispatch for always being willing to publish a counterpoint to such articles. It's not really fair to lambast them for Medred's piece without pointing out that they published another perspective the next day:

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/articl...k-inlet-salmon

  4. #4

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    I will start by posting a FACTUAL rebuttal of some of Mr. Medreds drivel that was sent to me:

    Dear Dispatch,

    I am supremely disappointed in the article you ran on November 20th by Craig Medred. It is riddled with misinformation and is very unprofessional. I would hope a fisheries article would warrant a call to 1 or 2 fisheries biologists or at least a trip to theADF&G web page (as much of this information is covered there). Even the title ‘What exactly is the impact of setnet bycatch on Alaska’s Kenai River King salmon fishery?’ is inaccurate. Legal historic harvest is NOT bycatch. The Alaska Journal of Commerce covers this pretty well.

    http://www.alaskajournal.com/Alaska-Journal-of-Commerce/November-Issue-3-2013/AJOC-EDITORIAL-Legal-historic-harvest-is-not-bycatch/

    Furthermore, ADF&G came up with the exploitation rate of 13% it is not a ‘claim’ of the Kenai Peninsula Fishermen’s Association. Here’s a link


    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/regulations/regprocess/fisheriesboard/ucitaskforce/pdfs/laterun_exploitationrates.pdfIn

    Then there is the eluded dishonesty of setnetters. Any commercial catch that I keep for personal use or sell for cash IS reflected on my commercial fish ticket. There is a spot on the bottom that I am legally and morally required to fill out. My family and I do harvest a few fish that we process and eat over the winter. ALL the fish I take (Reds, Kings, or otherwise) are marked on my commercial ticket.


    Not only is the word ‘bycatch’ repeatedly misused throughout the article, the statement ‘The incentive for setnetters to make bycatch disappear in this way is huge’ is insulting and false. Setnetting is one of the most historically accurate inseason indicators for Kenai king salmon run strength. Why would we want a lesser run to look weak? Again no fact, simply slander.The article then mentions saltwater rearing as a culprit for low returns, but fails to credit density dependent factors as mentioned in the Kenai Chinook Salmon Escapement goal report (Page 14). Currently, there are no smolt studies on the Kenai River. How can one claim ‘rivers appear to be producing adequate numbers of small salmon?’ No one is checking!

    To my knowledge, the final king escapement numbers are not out. However, in 2010 the Kenai King escapement was around 16,000. The claim that 2013 was the first time the number of spawners has dropped below20,000 is wrong.
    Please look at a the Kenai King MSY chart. We know from ADF&G data that 13,000-28,000 spawners is 90% of MSY. It brings back highest future returns. More kings, everyone is happy!! Hooray!

    Finally, the Kenai king goal was not lowered. It was converted to new units of measure. It is like comparing apples to oranges. ADF&G explained it to me as switching from MPH to KPH. The units are different, but the speed (and the number of fish) is the same.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=ucitaskforce.datarequests#7

    Many of these fish facts are covered on the ADF&G UCI Task Force page. I have included it above.
    I have yet to hear of the 42% mortality rate claimed in this article, and I have been paying attention. Undoubtedly, this too is false. All credibility has been lost.

    I don’t know who I am more disappointed in, Mr. Medred for writing this and calling it an article or The Dispatch for printing it.
    If you would like to study true biological research of kings in Alaska, there is a new study published on the kings of the Yukon/Kuskokwim, you should check it out. At the very least read the Kenai Chinook Interim Escapement Goal Report.
    These ARE tough times for the Alaskan families that live and love to work the beaches of Cook Inlet. We have to fight misinformation spewing from special interests, lobbying groups and now ‘credible’ news sources. This article represents neither the news nor the voices of the last frontier.

    I am a wife, mother and fisherman living on the Kenai Peninsula. As an Alaskan resident, I deserve better than this.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Medred is an opinion writer who pens editorials, plain and simple. That's fine, though I agree that his pieces should be labeled as such.

    That said, hats off to the Dispatch for always being willing to publish a counterpoint to such articles. It's not really fair to lambast them for Medred's piece without pointing out that they published another perspective the next day:

    http://www.alaskadispatch.com/articl...k-inlet-salmon

    True, and they have published other rebuttals in the past as well.

    But it is fair to point out that Mr. Medred is a "reporter" on their staff. He identifies himself as such in his first article. And while that one was in the "voices" section, his second piece was filed under "Alaska News".

    I guess I'm old school. I thought reporters were supposed to find facts.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithtb View Post
    But it is fair to point out that Mr. Medred is a "reporter" on their staff. He identifies himself as such in his first article. And while that one was in the "voices" section, his second piece was filed under "Alaska News".
    This is what I really have a problem with too. This really discredits them as a so called news source IMO.


    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

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    Member cormit's Avatar
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    There have been some requests to the AD lately .... that I am aware of ... to tone down CM's often inflammatory and factually deficient OP's. I think that might be a mistake at this time and here's why.

    In years past when CM wrote for the ADN, his dislike of commercial fishermen ..... and maybe set-netters more so, was more than obvious by the positions and tone he generally expressed when writing about fisheries issues. Many of us were further frustrated by the time it took to get a rebuttal posted ... often delayed (not necessarily intentional) beyond the point of relevance. This often allowed Craig to get away with his pointed opinion without the timely response from those that were committed to making sure the readers got both sides of the story.

    There were instances of CM actually naming and attacking individual set-netters and their helpers in his personal campaign to illustrate Cook Inlet set-netters as perhaps shady characters. This definitely crossed the line for many of us .... but, as was already mentioned ... he's an opinion writer, and apparently is comfortable with a much lower standard of journalistic responsibility.

    Seems like CM had backed off the com fish bashing a little in recent years, but now with the new "set-net ban initiative" hitting the press, he's back to his old self.

    What's different now is the way most on-line media versions provide for an instant response comment opportunity. This gets immediate input from those that are interested in participating in the discussion. Most readers of an article continue on to the comments to see how others respond .... and this is a good thing. But, there is still a problem with the commenting process.

    Recent log in changes that have shifted the commenters screening to "Facebook" only .... are now, however, preventing a lot of folks from getting their comments posted/heard. That is a real problem, and one that needs to get worked out. I have submitted numerous comments to AD articles ..... but the comments seem to be .... only viewable on the posters computer. I know there are others that have had this problem too. Maybe it would help if more of us contacted the AD to fix this log in issue instead of asking for CM to be muzzled.

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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    It's not just Alaska Dispatch...most of the news media out there will just tell you the info that 'they' want you to read or hear.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tearbear View Post
    It's not just Alaska Dispatch...most of the news media out there will just tell you the info that 'they' want you to read or hear.
    What he said.

    Plus, it's a lot of editorials & opinions. Left slanted, like ADN too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    A good majority of their articles are of the high school level or worse as far as levels of accuracy or unbiased-ness (probably not even a word, but you get the point).
    It's difficult to pass over the humorous irony of this statement. Just say'n.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
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    Default it's 13 o'clock

    There are times where Medred po's others and not me; this is not one of those times. I understand that he was trying to make a point, but he really lowered himself pretty far to be at a place to write what he did about setnetter "bycatch".

    Craig, the 13th stroke of the clock calls into question every last time that clock has ever told. In other words, your writings are (at least I thought) better than this. Straighten up there bud.

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    I keep hoping to see something from AFCA, that claims it has fish conservation in mind, to address the now almost extinct run of Slikok Kings. A run of kings that has been out of CI commercial fishing take for quite some time. Or how about a good proposal to address the declining size of those "trophy kenai kings" that are so prized by the people behind this initiative. I won't hold my breath, but I wish some reporters would start looking into the players behind this initiative to understand its true intent.

    If setnets are "indiscriminate killing machines" then why only ban them in non-subsistence areas? The reason is simple, the people behind this initiative know it would go down in flames to try to ban setnetting statewide. So they try to pick on one small area of the state and are hoping to create enough anti-Cook Inlet setnet sentiment in anchorage and mat-su to ban it at the general election ballot box (if the initiative is even legal).

    I read both articles and they were both a spin on numbers and facts to try to forward a personal agenda. It happens quite often in this country though. I would hope people have enough common sense to fact check things they read and hear in the news, on tv, or on the internet.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by 33outdoorsman View Post
    I keep hoping to see something from AFCA, that claims it has fish conservation in mind, to address the now almost extinct run of Slikok Kings. A run of kings that has been out of CI commercial fishing take for quite some time. Or how about a good proposal to address the declining size of those "trophy kenai kings" that are so prized by the people behind this initiative. I won't hold my breath, but I wish some reporters would start looking into the players behind this initiative to understand its true intent.

    They probably haven't had time to come up with anything yet. Seems like they're all pretty busy trying to explain how even though they are affiliated and share board members with another organization that happens to be a nonprofit that started a massive ad campaign the same week this initiative hit the news, KRSA is NOT behind this initiative. Oh, no, not them. Because if they were, "educational", nonprofit status may seem a little sketch... Oh, look, free puppies!

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    It is up to the people to educate themselves and call out these "news" organizations and their agendas, by presenting the facts. Writing letters (like the response above), submitting editorials, adding follow-up on-line comments, and speaking out in public are all great tools. Our whole country has been stolen by the CM morons of the world, due to our own complacency, tolerance, and political correctness. Silence=acceptance. So speak out. I'm drafting a scathing letter to AD right now. So should you.

    You don't have to be a commercial fisherman to demand truth, fact, and unbiased reporting. Because no matter the topic, this unethical disservice to Alaskans will eventually come home to roost on your own front door.

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    Exclamation Speak up . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by Funstastic View Post
    . . Silence=acceptance. . .

    Bingo . . . .


    . . or said another way, "SILENCE IS TACIT AGREEMENT."



    As the man said . . write letters . . speak up . . all that's going on here by both sides is singing to their choir.

  16. #16

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    Medred is at it again....

    http://www.adn.com/article/20140721/...economic-yield

    In his article, Mr. Medred actually makes several rather salient points, but as always just can't resist getting nasty by making personal accusations and perpetuating anti-commercial fishing propaganda.

    Mr. Page's response:

    http://www.adn.com/article/20140926/...stic-standards

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Bingo . . . .


    . . or said another way, "SILENCE IS TACIT AGREEMENT."



    As the man said . . write letters . . speak up . . all that's going on here by both sides is singing to their choir.

    Marcus!! Welcome back. We missed you. It appears your self-imposed hiatus has run its course (at least for this issue). Nice to hear your voice again. This place hasn't been the same without you.....

    Back on topic: It does appear that labels matter. I recognize that the word 'bycatch' is a hot button word, but I'm not convinced that 'retained incidental catch' is any better. The fact is that when fishing gear is deployed, fish die. The only thing that varies is the species, number, and the body size. Call it what you want.

    Further, if the gear deployed is relatively non-selective, and the fishermen can retain whatever species they are entitled to, then the fishery must be constrained by 'weak stock' management. Even if that means foregoing the fishery on a very abundant target stock. So, if the late run Chinook are a conservation concern (I'm not saying they are), then the fisheries need to be designed to minimize the loss of those fish. If that means allowing 100's of thousands of harvestable sockeye to pass upstream without being subjected to harvest, then that is what needs to happen. The ESSNetters cannot claim, on one hand, they have the right to retain any Chinook salmon they catch in their nets, while also claiming they ought not be shut off from the sockeye fishery when those Chinook salmon are in serious decline (again, I'm not saying they are). They can't have it both ways. If Chinook salmon are a conservation concern, they cannot be considered "collateral damage" in the efforts to harvest the abundant sockeye, since both can be retained. In that case, the sockeye fishery should be constrained by the level of Chinook harvest.

    As painful as that might be....

  18. #18

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    I'm responsible for the resurrection - Marcus's was an old post from an old thread which I bumped... Coho, as for your point of having it both ways - yes, you are right. Setnetters catch kings and therefore must be managed in part relative to their abundance (although I believe their conservation burden should be relative to their % harvest.) Likewise, those opposed to setnetters should not have it both ways either. Regardless, they continue to push this gear selectivity "discussion" while at the same time pushing for the abolition of setnets. Only a fool would think they were having a discussion when they have a gun to their head.

    As for this gear selectivity, I have my doubts. I simply don't believe that gear depth has that big of an effect on King catch. I would love to see some SCIENTIFIC evidence otherwise.

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    Check the date of his post, Coho.
    Marcus ain't back.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

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    My apologies. The ghost of Marcus has made an appearance, but he remains in exile.... I need to read those posts more carefully.

    My point in responding was to indicate that 'retained incidental catch' has been a death sentence for wild salmon throughout the Pacific Northwest, most notably in the Columbia Basin. With the development of hatcheries, there is considerable social pressure to harvest the abundant hatchery fish. In doing so, the wild stocks, which migrate at the same time, are eliminated. As many of us know, hatchery fish can take harvest pressure upwards of 80-90% of the returning adults while still having enough adults for broodstock. But wild fish cannot take a harvest rate much above 20%. So when wild fish and hatchery fish are harvested at the same time, what gets lost? Do we lose the wild fish, or do we lose the harvestable surplus of hatchery fish? Each and every time, wild fish become collateral damage. The social pressure to maintain the fishery (recreational, commercial, Tribal, etc) takes a huge toll on wild fish. That's why we have alot of ESA listed salmon stocks in the Columbia Basin (that, plus the hydropower system).

    The situation on the KP is roughly similar. Do we choose between conserving the LR Chinook, and foregoing sockeye harvest? Or do we harvest sockeye and lose the LR Chinook? I realize that, at this point, it's a false choice. But at some point, that is exactly the question on the table for discussion.

    On a related note, I would say the wild Chinook on the Copper River are in a similar situation. The very abundant sockeye are being harvested at a time when the Chinook are not doing well. Wild Chinook are being sacrificed to the economic engine that is the internationally known "Copper River salmon".

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