Disappointed in media

I may be a rancher and a mother, but I am also a trained journalist, and if I turned in an article while in Journalism school anything like the one attacking agriculture in the upcoming TIME magazine, I would have gotten an "F" in Reporting 1! I am very disappointed in the lack of credible sources cited in the article. The author seems to have a personal vendetta against agriculture that can't be swayed by scientific fact or substantiated data.

The article is a one-sided, closed-minded work of fiction that should never have made it into the magazine, let alone a feature story. It is very disappointing to see the media actually ignore efforts to provide facts and studies that contradict the author's viewpoint. The NCBA has proof that they provided Mr. Walsh with multiple interviews and data resources that he blatantly ignored.

Not only is the article one sided, but the author has misinterpreted studies and facts to support his opinion! I won't list one by one the incorrect information in the article; many others have already done that. I just want to encourage readers to do the research--look for the truth, visit a farm, and see for yourself how our nation's food is raised. I have a number of links listed at left that provide verifiable facts about our food industry. We are very lucky to have the food system we do, with people who care about livestock and how they are treated. In addition, the safety of the food supply is at an all-time high--there are many systems in place to ensure that the food we eat is healthy.

As a consumer, you can choose to eat healthy, nutritious food or you can buy food that is not good for you--that is AMERICA! Be thankful we have the number of choices we do. I am appalled that Mr. Walsh says it is the food industry's fault that Americans are obese. That is like saying it is the clothing manufacturer's fault we have skin cancer.

TIME magazine needs to hear from you--Americans who care about truth in journalism. Below is the letter I sent to the editor. You can send your own by going to http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1917458,00.html . Click on the author's name and a pop up box will appear to send your letter to the editor.

Also check out ExploreBeef.org for the real facts about animal agriculture! I guess the bottom line is that the majority of Americans have never set foot on a farm or ranch, and they are multiple generations away from farming and ranching.

I have five children--I am concerned that I select nutritious, safe food for my own family. We drink milk purchased at a local grocery store, eat beef at nearly every meal, and purchase the rest of our food at a large chain grocery store--NOT in the organic section. I believe I am feeding my kids in a very healthy and safe way and they are doing great! As a mother, we are conditioned to question everything about how we raise our kids. I understand that, but don't let rumors and misinterpreted data sway you from what you know is right. Follow the food pyramid, feed your family a well-rounded diet, and make sure they exercise. THAT is the right thing to do.

Mr. Bryan Walsh
TIME Magazine

Mr. Walsh:
I am very disappointed in the lack of substantiated fact in the article "Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food." As a journalist, the most important part of any story I write is the attribution to reputable sources. This article lacks reputable sources and blatantly ignores any fact not in agreement with your viewpoint.

I am surprised that this article was allowed to be published in Time, let alone as a lead story. I will not be continuing my subscription if this is the type of journalism that is going to be encouraged.

In Reporting 1, this story would have earned an "F" for ignoring the opposing viewpoint and touting a skewed, unsubstantiated viewpoint.

Debbie Lyons-Blythe
Mother, Cattle Rancher, Freelance Journalist


  1. Debbie, congrats on taking a stand on this issue and writing a letter to the editor.

  2. Go Debbie, great post. When I was in J-School, you had to have sources from both sides of a story. Since when did having 2 sources come to constitute balanced reporting? The author's bio could be titled "The High Cost of Bad Reporting."

  3. This blog post is going to appear on the KansasAgLand.com website...an online news link for the Hutchinson Daily News.

  4. Debbie, so glad to read your blog - keep up the great stories.

  5. Another disappointment - the K-State Collegian. If you have not seen this article or commented on it your can see it through my blog. Looks like the next generation of reporters will be no better.



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