This article originally appeared on The Daily Pitchfork.
Today's post is by Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of Direct Action Everywhere (DxE). DxE acquired undercover footage of Petaluma Farms, a cage-free, organic, and Certified Humane farm sourcing eggs to Whole Foods. The New York Times covered the undercover investigation, but, as Hsiung explains, it did so inaccurately.
When deciding where to pitch our investigation, we faced a question: do we go with Big Media publications that have a history of defending Whole Foods, and extensive ties with the company? Or do we shoot for a smaller outlet that might be more sympathetic to our message? Our press advisors resoundingly recommended the former route, as the reach and prestige of a flagship outlet such as The New York Times would be a huge victory for our network - and for the message that we are trying to get out.
But there were a number of problems with the Times' coverage by Sabrina Tavernise and Stephanie Strom, which prominent food writer James McWilliams described as "deeply skewed," that deserve a response. Indeed, there was a basic failure of the journalistic process, including refusal to consider incriminating documents, blatant misquotes, and massive over-representation of industry perspectives, that should remind us that, while Big Media gives us an opening, it's up to us to deliver a truthful message.