J. Douglas Allen-Taylor is the Berkeley Daily Planet's reporter covering Oakland City Hall. However, he also writes a regular op-ed column in which he consistently praises Dellums. We take no issue with that, insofar as he is entitled to express his editorial opinion. But every Journalism 101 class in the country teaches students to separate reportage from opinion. First he reports on Oakland city politics, and then he defends Dellums' actions in his editorial column. So how in the world can a reader rely upon the accuracy of the reportage?
O'Malley defends her newspaper by stating that she merely practices "advocacy journalism." There is nothing wrong with advocacy journalism, per se. There are many responsible journals of opinion in America, such as The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, The Nation, and Commentary. However, these magazines never masquerade as newspapers. Reputable newspapers advocate, but only on their opinion pages. When advocacy controls the news department, the generally accepted term for this is "propaganda."