Dr. Mitchell Gershsten

While Bruce Finley may not be The Most Trusted Man in America, or even a household media name, he is an environmental reporter for the Denver Post, which is at the geographic epicenter of what is shaping up to be the most meaningful energy revolution in generations.  We’re talking about Colorado’s natural gas economy.  Because of that, and the paper that he writes for, we feel that it is important to be transparent in his journalistic endeavors.

Simon Lomax, Research Director for oil industry advocacy group Energy in Depth, noticed that Finley came up short in this department for a story that he wrote for the Denver Post last month. Despite Finley’s 20-plus-year background in reporting, no correction has been made to add a qualifier to one of his sources.

Finley quotes a Western Slope doctor, Mitchell Gershten, lamenting the secrecy of hydraulic fracturing fluid components.  The article makes it seem as if Gershten was just another small town doc fighting for his patients.  The truth is that Gershten is an outspoken anti-fracking activist who has organized petitions and letter writing campaigns, and has been published in the Grand Junction Sentinel, Boulder Daily Camera, and the Delta County Independent.

In the same article Finley also quotes a representative from the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance without a word describing what this group is all about.  It kind of sounds like a generic group of citizens who could be banding together for a variety of issues, except it is not.  The Grand Valley Citizens Alliance is a single-issue advocacy group formed to do one thing:  push back against oil and gas exploration efforts in Colorado.

Lomax lists other perceived shortfalls in disclosures related to Finley’s article, and the entire rebuttal, titled “Reporter, Disclose Thyself,” can be found here.  As far as we can tell, Finley has not updated his piece since the day after it was published in late March.  Perhaps it’s about time.