The May 31 article, “Protesters clash with white supremacists in downtown Olympia,” is an example of how The Olympian uses rhetoric in reporting to create a specific narrative. Two points are: the use of speculation as news, and misleading details that are used unnecessarily.
Statements like “dozens of protesters, thought to be in their 20s” are speculative and should not be used in news stories unless the editor is trying to put a spin on the story. Did reporters survey of all of the demonstrators? Or are they trying to characterize the crowd as “naive,” wild or Greeners.
Secondly, if police tell reporters that a stabbing in town is unrelated to the demonstration, why include it in the article?
Furthermore, if one does not finish the article then they leave with the narrative that a stabbing occurred during the demonstration, which further characterizes the demonstration and participants.
One thing I believe that The Olympian missed altogether is that members of the community were confronting a violent street gang known as Volksfront that has been tracked by the FBI and is known to have been involved in murders throughout the Northwest. Members of the community did not feel safe all week long with this violent presence.
Why not tell that aspect of the story? What is the narrative that The Olympian is creating in this and other stories?