Sunday, August 07, 2005

Dogged Coverage and the MIAs

Something must have happened at last week's meeting of the Oversight Committee of the California stem cell agency, but you could hardly tell it by looking at some of California's leading lights of the newspaper business.

Only two newspapers carried stories on the session in San Diego. Missing in action were the San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, the San Jose Mercury News and the Los Angeles Times – notable because they have been among the semi-regulars covering CIRM. The San Diego Union Tribune and the North County Times (San Diego County), however, both carried articles.

Reporter Terri Somers of the Union Tribune focused not on action by CIRM but on yet another lawsuit against the agency that appears to be identical to one filed against the NIH. The litigation dealt with on protection of the alleged civil rights of frozen embryos. Somers reported that the NIH lawsuit has already been dismissed.

Reporter Bradley Fikes of the North County Times briefly mentioned the lawsuit. He wrote, "Committee member Richard A. Murphy, also president of the Salk Institute, said there is a "growing sense of frustration that the situation will continue and funds won't be released as quickly as we had hoped there would be.'"

Fikes' story focused on the committee's opposition to federal Brownback stem cell legislation and support of the Feinstein-Hatch measure. He said the panel "struggled to find a way to communicate the differences between the two."

The lack of coverage of Friday's meeting probably can be chalked up to the dog days of summer, which, in this case, happened to coincide somewhat with some sort of business involving a dog in South Korea. No, it was not the yarn about the man who bit the beagle.

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