Don’t Parrot. Interpret.

Mother breastfeeding child.Here’s how NBC Washington identified one new Virginia law that takes effect today:

“Breastfeeding: Women can breastfeed anywhere the mother is lawfully present.”

Anywhere the mother is legally present? Where is a mother illegally present, other than in jail?

So I checked the Washington Post story:

“And a new Virginia measure gives mothers the right to breast-feed in public places, expanding current law that allows breast-feeding on state property.”

Ah. Much clearer.

A journalist’s job is to interpret and put in plain English laws, regulations, and other government speak. Score one fail for NBC Washington and one win for the Washington Post.

Tom Pfeifer is the managing partner and chief strategist for Consistent Voice Communications. Reach him at


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