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Old 11-07-2017, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
26,505 posts, read 22,418,705 times
Reputation: 10346

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What do we mean by "bias" here? Not all bias is intentional and malicious.

I think what we have today is agenda journalism. In other words, certain stations (i.e., Fox) are not simply reporting the facts subject to their own personal and experiential limitations. They are purposefully trying to drive a narrative. And they do that largely with a cadre of pundits and talking heads. The pundit class is probably the greatest difference between TV today and TV 25 years ago.

Back in the 90s, the McLoughlin Group was the closest thing we had to the type of punditry we see on Fox or CNN today. Most political news was boring. There was NBC Nightly News where they basically told you what happened and didn't opine on the facts too much. Then you had Meet the Press with Tim Russert. Russert was a Democrat, but he was very much down the middle on his program, and questioned Democrats and Republicans intensely. It was serious programming for serious people and wholly lacked the bombast of today's TV political theater.

While shows like Meet the Press and Face the Nation still exist today, their relevance has declined. People now enjoy watching a screen with 12 different people on it fighting over whether football players should stand or not. As much as people want to point the finger at media, they need to point the finger at themselves for consuming a lot of this crap. It's the same way people complain about gridlock in Congress and then keep sending politicians to Washington who cause gridlock. A lot of fault lies with the American people, not just Big Bad media execs.
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
26,505 posts, read 22,418,705 times
Reputation: 10346
Quote:
Originally Posted by addakisson View Post
Both sides are guilty of this.
They are not close to being equivalent though. And here's what I mean by that.

"Left wing" news (NPR, Vox, the Atlantic, Democracy Now!, etc.) tends to be "nerdier" and focuses on a lot more than partisan politics. They tend to focus more on foreign affairs (which isn't simply limited to Iran, ISIS and N. Korea), the arts and sciences, history, health, etc. Sure, they'll discuss the Mueller investigation, but they won't spend 95% of their time on that.

Conservative outlets and publications probably focus 95% of their attention on partisan politics. Their viewers have zero appetite for, say, a story about elections in Brazil. They just want to hear about Hillary and scandals. Politics is exclusively defined by attacks on political enemies.
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Old 11-22-2017, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
4,290 posts, read 6,993,712 times
Reputation: 7979
It died leading up to the last election. Completely.
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:41 PM
 
Location: East Flatbush, Brooklyn
105 posts, read 12,120 times
Reputation: 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by MI-Roger View Post
Another act of Ronald Reagan that went pretty much unnoticed at the time. President Reagan eliminated the "Fairness Doctrine" for broadcasting that required all media outlets to promote both sides/all sides of issues. Elimination of this piece of legislation eventually resulted in the formation of Fox News and other media that concentrate on a single political viewpoint - and probably is the single greatest cause of our country's current divisiveness.
Yup. Was going to post this myself but luckily searched and found this. The Fairness Doctrine was such an inextricable part of media that on old talk shows (like, say, Dick Cavett), if a guest started rambling about Controversial Topic X, the host would nervously joke that they'd have to bring in someone the next day to give an opposing viewpoint.

When the FD went, that was the end of balanced journalism, balanced everything.
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:08 PM
 
Location: USA, love-it or leave-it Baby!!!!
13,079 posts, read 13,314,604 times
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The internet happened!

People are so very biased and polarized in the USA....they WANT to have a source of "news" that tells their "truth". See Fox, MSNBC, NPR, NYT, ETC, ETC.
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Old Yesterday, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
29,904 posts, read 53,537,796 times
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In all honesty - and from a J-school grad and former editor and reporter - there is no unbiased news. While much of journalism still is decided upon by committee - editorial boards, staffs of editors or producers, etc. - there is always one person who makes the final decision on what to report, how to report it, and when to report it. Because that one person is human, biases will exist.

Reporters are not unbiased, although we are trained to try very hard. But we are not robots - while we're trained to think objectively, we all have our opinions and experiences that color the questions we ask and how we sift and present the information we gather.

When I entered a newsroom for the first time in the late 70s, we reporters had a legion of editors behind us - assignment editors, copy editors, news editors, city editors, etc. - who coached us, questioned us, corrected us, directed us in a system of checks and balances. These days, that legion is more like one or two editors, if you're lucky to have that many. Newspapers everywhere have smaller staffs, and for some editing positions, those people may not be working locally and have little to no contact with the reporters producing the news stories. There's very little checking and balancing in today's newspaper world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I think what we have today is agenda journalism. In other words, certain stations (i.e., Fox) are not simply reporting the facts subject to their own personal and experiential limitations. They are purposefully trying to drive a narrative. And they do that largely with a cadre of pundits and talking heads. The pundit class is probably the greatest difference between TV today and TV 25 years ago.

[snip]

Back in the 90s, the McLoughlin Group was the closest thing we had to the type of punditry we see on Fox or CNN today.
You're right about agenda journalism. News outlets at one time presented opinion, but emphasized the fact that it was opinion. Newspapers presented a wide range of columnists on their editorial pages. Now you have the likes of Sinclair Broadcasting requiring each local station to tow the corporate line and present corporate-produced segments.

The difference being that the McLaughlin Group had panelists from both historically conservative and liberal news outlets who managed to respect one another's opinions, and if they didn't, John McLaughlin first shut them up, and then didn't have them on the show again.

Another issue with objectivity in both broadcast and print journalism is that too few owners operate too many news outlets, and too many in the same market. Once upon a time, there was diversity in ownership because the FCC required it; FCC rules prohibited one company or person from owning more than a certain number of TV stations and radio stations both nationally and in the same market. One owner couldn't own a major TV station and a newspaper in the same market. Thirty years of deregulation gutted the FCC, resulting in the concentration of ownership we have today. Now you have Sinclair owning hundreds of TV stations, Comcast and Disney owning TV networks and TV stations, iHeart Radio owning hundreds of radio stations and multiple stations in one market.

In the newspaper biz, smaller companies such as Digital First Media own dozens of smaller-market newspapers.

No local competition, no incentive to produce an exemplary product.
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Old Today, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
65,190 posts, read 73,203,930 times
Reputation: 34080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
In all honesty - and from a J-school grad and former editor and reporter - there is no unbiased news. While much of journalism still is decided upon by committee - editorial boards, staffs of editors or producers, etc. - there is always one person who makes the final decision on what to report, how to report it, and when to report it. Because that one person is human, biases will exist.

Reporters are not unbiased, although we are trained to try very hard. But we are not robots - while we're trained to think objectively, we all have our opinions and experiences that color the questions we ask and how we sift and present the information we gather.

When I entered a newsroom for the first time in the late 70s, we reporters had a legion of editors behind us - assignment editors, copy editors, news editors, city editors, etc. - who coached us, questioned us, corrected us, directed us in a system of checks and balances. These days, that legion is more like one or two editors, if you're lucky to have that many. Newspapers everywhere have smaller staffs, and for some editing positions, those people may not be working locally and have little to no contact with the reporters producing the news stories. There's very little checking and balancing in today's newspaper world.


You're right about agenda journalism. News outlets at one time presented opinion, but emphasized the fact that it was opinion. Newspapers presented a wide range of columnists on their editorial pages. Now you have the likes of Sinclair Broadcasting requiring each local station to tow the corporate line and present corporate-produced segments.

The difference being that the McLaughlin Group had panelists from both historically conservative and liberal news outlets who managed to respect one another's opinions, and if they didn't, John McLaughlin first shut them up, and then didn't have them on the show again.

Another issue with objectivity in both broadcast and print journalism is that too few owners operate too many news outlets, and too many in the same market. Once upon a time, there was diversity in ownership because the FCC required it; FCC rules prohibited one company or person from owning more than a certain number of TV stations and radio stations both nationally and in the same market. One owner couldn't own a major TV station and a newspaper in the same market. Thirty years of deregulation gutted the FCC, resulting in the concentration of ownership we have today. Now you have Sinclair owning hundreds of TV stations, Comcast and Disney owning TV networks and TV stations, iHeart Radio owning hundreds of radio stations and multiple stations in one market.

In the newspaper biz, smaller companies such as Digital First Media own dozens of smaller-market newspapers.

No local competition, no incentive to produce an exemplary product.
Back when hubby was new to the newspaper business: way back, it was more objective. Was it biased to some degree? Probably but nothing like today; TV maybe a little more biased, still not by today's standard. Hubby says he almost embarrassed to admit he started his career as a newspaper reporter.
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