Did you see the flow chart of the “power elite” in the Courier-Journal this week? The chart maps who reasonably powerful people in Louisville think the most powerful person in Louisville is.

Jake at the Ville Voice was the first to criticize the chart, saying:

A Kentucky Newspaper apparently asked a single family who the most powerful person in Louisville happens to be. It’s no surprise that they all named their family members or super-close friends.

Then LEO Weekly joined in, with a blog post.

These fleecers of the entity once known as “Louisville’s Economy” have been been compiled into one convenient and eminently printable dartboard courtesy of the Louisville Courier-Journal, whose own Matt Frassica posed to them the question, “Who’s the most powerful person in the city?”

That prompted this response on Twitter from the chart’s author, Matt Frassica:

What? No vampire squid?

That is a reference to Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibbi.

UPDATE: Insider Louisville has their own list of powerful Louisvillians.

We’ve seen LEO Weekly and the Courier-Journal at odds before over issues of journalistic merit, quality and integrity.

One of the chief criticisms of the chart is that it doesn’t explain why the people pictured are powerful and what influence they have in the city. It presents fact as fact, but leaves out analysis. However, it’s one of the few reports to acknowledge the power select wealthy, non-elected Louisvillians have in the city.

Without wanting to stir the pot, I attempted to start a discussion between interested parties, but no debate ensued. As with the last LEO/CJ disagreement, it may be best to bring some transparency to the matter. Neither paper has a public editor to explain why stories were pursued and published, but it’s hard to think insight from both sides would do anything but benefit the audience. The journalistic process isn’t always complicated, but it can be muddy, and isn’t clarity one of our goals as reporters?

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