The quality of reporting on fracking in large outlets has been of varying quality. Day-to-day coverage of the latest developments is usually pretty good, but bigger picture trend pieces have a tendency to be positively fawning towards the industry. A couple of recent articles in the New York Times have been particularly bad, and one of them also foreshadowed an additional development.
The first was a credulous look at how great fracking is for the communities it occurs in. We are told how fat fracking checks are “swelling the bank accounts of some working-class families” in “amounts the recipients say are a bit disorienting.” Even better: “More is probably on the way, potentially much more.” So these struggling families have suddenly had their financial anxieties erased, their future incomes assured. I’m sure the ombudsman would say that the hazards of fracking were beyond the scope of the article, but wow does it read like a love letter