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News Media not well thought of per Pew
Posted by: McQ on Friday, August 10, 2007

Looking over this synopsis of the findings of a recently conducted Pew Research Center Poll (which, btw, found an across the board fall in the public's opinion on the news media since 1985, when a similar survey was conducted) brought some questions to mind:
More than half of Americans say US news organizations are politically biased, inaccurate, and don't care about the people they report on, a poll published Thursday showed.

And poll respondents who use the Internet as their main source of news — roughly one quarter of all Americans — were even harsher with their criticism, the poll conducted by the Pew Research Center said.

More than two-thirds of the Internet users said they felt that news organizations don't care about the people they report on; 59 percent said their reporting was inaccurate; and 64 percent they were politically biased.

More than half — 53 percent — of Internet users also faulted the news organizations for "failing to stand up for America".
The point about not caring "about the people they report on" and "filing to stand up for America" are interesting complaints/demands. It has been a point of contention between the public and the news media for quite some time.

Objectivity. Journalists continue to maintain it is not only possible but a requirement of their trade. They further claim that unlike other human beings, they are able to put aside completely any bias, to include that of the bias of nationalism or patriotism, and make objective reports.

I do and have always contended that putting aside bias is exremely difficult if not impossible. Some folks, I would assume, are much better at it than others. And there are tons of books, studies, papers, etc., out there that explore and discuss the subject.

However, for no particular reason other than they came to mind after reading the Pew results, my questions to you are the following - does it matter if the media is biased and would you feel more comfortable with a media that acknowledged its bias upfront?

Is it important that the media care for those they report on (instead of just being a non-intervening method of recording an event) and should journalists reflect an attitude in their work that would be interpreted as 'standing up for America?'

I think another way of framing those last two questions is would you prefer a media who stands by and records someone being beaten to death as a news story, or prefer they do something, if possible, to intervene and stop that death? An extreme example but it may provide a better understanding of the issue, at least as I understand it.

As for "standing up for America", does our US based media have a duty to do so, even if America is wrong?

My answers are I would feel more comfortable with bias being acknowledged (it would allow me to apply the proper filter without having to guess). I'm not sure how to answer the second, except to say, yes, if possible (and there are any range of reasons it might not be possible) I'd like to see them intervene. Lastly, no, the press has no duty to 'stand up for America', especially if she's wrong. But it does have a duty to support its argument with more than a declaration.

Anyway, those are my thoughts ... yours are welcomed.
 
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does it matter if the media is biased and would you feel more comfortable with a media that acknowledged it’s bias upfront?
I think you need to reverse the order in which the questions are asked -

Am I comfortable with a media that acknowledges their bias? Yes.

Does it matter if they are biased? Only if they WON’T/DON’T admit it.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Missed two questions -
would you prefer a media who stands by and records someone being beaten to death as a news story, or prefer they do something, if possible, to intervene and stop that death?
I would prefer they try to stop the death if feasible. If not, then I would want to know what happened.
As for "standing up for America", does our US based media have a duty to do so, even if America is wrong?
To stand up for America? No. But they should also NOT throw her under the bus. I put this one in the same category as politicians (both past and present) trashing America when they are on foreign soil. You wanna talk trash? Do it at home. You wanna travel the world? Then if you got nothin’ good to say, shut yer yapper!

Where is the dividing line between standing up for America and reporting accurately about things that are GOOD about America?
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
I concur with your opinions, with meagain’s addition and one other: journalists are citizens who happen to be journalists, not journalists who happen to be citizens. Too many think of themselves as the latter. Does that mean that they have to stand up for America even when America is wrong? Not at all. Does it mean that they should intervene to prevent or punish crime - even to the extent of not printing leaked confidential information or jumping in to pull a drowning person from a river? Absolutely, because those are duties that attach to citizenship irrespective of one’s profession or trade.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
Where is the dividing line between standing up for America and reporting accurately about things that are GOOD about America?
That’s a good question and may relate back to the question of bias and the likelihood that one set of biases would lend itself more to reporting good things about America and one that is less likely to do so.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Opinions should be confined to opinion pages and news should present facts and opinions from all angles of a story.

I have no problem with a biased source as long as they are up front about it. Trying to hide a bias, or denying it, is not only dishonest, it’s fraudulent.
 
Written By: Phil Underwood
URL: http://
I don’t doubt it’s true, but the Pew Foundation is no reliable source (aside to JWG, that’s whether it suits a "conservative" organization to cite them or not).

The Pew Foundation are known fraudsters who participated in astro-turfing support for McCain-Feingold "What First Amendment?" campaign finance reform law.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com/
Forgot a link to info about the Pew fraud.

TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com/
Oooh! Here’s more. TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com/
does it matter if the media is biased and would you feel more comfortable with a media that acknowledged its bias upfront?
Yup. Lets be upfront and honest as possible so we can properly evaluate.
Is it important that the media care for those they report on (instead of just being a non-intervening method of recording an event) and should journalists reflect an attitude in their work that would be interpreted as ’standing up for America?’
Depends. Part of what they are peddling to us is "speaking the truth to power", and being "watchers" of democracy etc etc etc.- well, if they’re going to tell us they operate under those sentiments, then YES, they absolutely should care about those they report on and "stand up for America". If they don’t want to, that’s fine- just don’t represent like you do. They want to talk the talk, so they better walk the walk.


If America is really wrong then yes, pointing that out IS standing up for America. But it has to be something where we are demonstrablywrong, not something like Iraq where a policy difference is thought to be not only wrong, but criminal by the Democrats.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Objectivity. Journalists continue to maintain it is not only possible but a requirement of their trade.
No one can truly be objective. What is important is to be fair. As a Journalist, you must put aside your opinion’s and report the story fairly and accurately letting the chips fall where they may. At least that was they way we operated when I worked in TV news in the 60’s.
Is it important that the media care for those they report on (instead of just being a non-intervening method of recording an event) and should journalists reflect an attitude in their work that would be interpreted as ’standing up for America?’
The motto of reporters used to be our job was to “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Edward R. Murrow’s “Harvest of Shame” is a good example. It’s the reporter’s job to report the facts. If the facts “stand up for America” that’s the story. If they show America in an unfavorable light, that’s the story. As a reporter, like SGT. Joe Friday, you must follow the facts, wherever they go. To do otherwise you loose your credibility and that is all a journalist has. However you don’t broadcast military information that would interfere with ongoing operations.
One photographer to another. “What did you give that little old lady starving on the park bench?” “Oh about f8 and 125/th of a second”
It’s a good joke, but I carried a 1st aid kit in my car. More than once, when arriving before emergency workers, I helped the injured before photographing the story. I know others who did the same. If you see someone in danger, you help him first. You can always get the pictures.

That was then. I left TV in the mid ‘80’s and take no responsibility in what is happening in today’s media.


 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://faroutfishfiles.blogspot.com/
I don’t agree with any of the above. It may be true that no one can be perfectly objective, but it also seems to be pretty logical that people who are have a sincere goal in *good faith* of trying to be objective, are going to be *more* objective than people who say, "hey. I’m biased. deal with it."

No one is perfectly virtuous, but we still have virtues. No one is perfectly brave or honest or generous, but we haven’t come to say, "hell with it, let’s give up on bravery and generosity."

I think bloggers like not being objective because it allows you to be more entertaining, thus giving them a commercial advantage over journalists. But ’objectivity’ and accuracy go hand in hand. Bias makes you less accurate. The country can’t afford to throw out accuracy. I’m not saying bloggers don’t try to be accurate - I’d say more that bias is a bad working environment.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://

 
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