“Conquer your fear of sharing fake news by keeping it real,” goes a recent email pitch for bargain online subscription rates from the financially flagging San Diego Union-Tribune. “148 years of trusted journalism is a click away.”
Just how real is news purveyed by the U-T? Last week the paper ran a story about the results of a survey it had conducted with television station KGTV, purporting to show that respondents overwhelmingly favored a new Major League Soccer stadium to be built by La Jolla–based FS Investors in Mission Valley.
“A poll of 700 adults conducted for The San Diego Union-Tribune and KGTV-10 News by SurveyUSA showed that 70 percent support the soccer proposal, with men, young people and Hispanics the most in favor,” the paper reported. But a gray box under the U-T’s story revealed that to come with that lop-sided result pollsters told respondents an untruth, asserting that “San Diego State University would pay half the cost; private investors would pay the rest.”
In the real news world, no such deal has been reached with SDSU or the city, and the actual proposed cost to taxpayers of the megamillion-dollar project, to be built on city-owned land, is yet to be established. “We have been engaged in discussions (with FS Investors),” SDSU’s Gina Jacobs is quoted by the school’s KPBS-TV as saying. “We received the proposal at the same time it was released. We’re reviewing it and are excited to see what the rest of the proposal is.”
Media insiders have it that the U-T fears being hard hit revenue-wise by the departure of the Chargers for Los Angeles and is seeking a quick substitute in the form of professional soccer.