Is there actually such a thing as "reliable news" or is news intrinsically biased?
I always say that we have no sources for reliable news in America, but that leads me to wonder if it is possible to deliver reliable news, with absolutely no bias? It seems like it would go against human nature. Sure some are less biased than others, but every network has an angle, right?
As a former journalist, I've written many hubs on this subject. The bottom line, I think, is that the news is intrinsically biased because someone has to choose what is going to fill the finite number of column inches and the finite number of minutes in a broadcast. The 24-hour news cycle has expanded the limits, but there are still limits. Simply by selecting what will make it on air or into print calls for someone's opinion about what is news and what is not.
I don't think the danger is human nature. I think the danger is the trend to stop trying to be unbiased and us not demanding it any more. We want the bent we want. We want to hear our views echoed back at us. We don't want to change our minds and too often we don't want to learn. And unfortunately today there are too many "journalists" who are only to eager to give us what we want.
In college, I took a minor in journalism. When writers are taught to be journalists, we are intrinsically educated to leave our biases at the door and report only that which is reportable as fact.
Far too often, however, when reporters "report", they tend to embellish with their own thoughts and feelings about the subject. They may not do so intensionally, however it's always possible to discern a writer's bias just in the way something is phrased. This is never more evident than in journalistic reporting of politics where there is intense polarazation regarding everything that happens in Washington and throughout the country.
I currently serve as the publicity chairman for a local political party in my home community. While our party will always hold a philosophical bias towards the candidates who we support, when I write my press releases regarding the results of caucuses and the names of the people we chose to support, I report only the facts to the paper. It's up to them to decide how to spin the announcement. Responsible journalism, however, requires the spin to be kept to a minimum and only the facts need to be disseminated, however facts don't sell newspapers, just as they don't ensure viewers watching the news. Spin equals ratings - on both sides of the aisle.
The responsibilty we have as viewers is to be cognizant of what qualifies as responsible journalism and what qualifies as spin. Is Miley Cyrus' latest half-nude televised gyration news? Is Lindsey Lohan's most recent DWI ticket? How about Joe Biden's latest foot swallower? Or Michelle Obama's latest inedible lunch treat? Or George Bush's anniversary? And if it isn't news, why are we listening to or watching it on the news? Is all news just infotainment for our vapid immaturity to absorb?
At some point, we, as viewers, need to decide for ourselves where to find the source of the real news that we deserve to hear. I get mine from a variety of sources and I take everything with a grain of salt. The internet is a marvelous place to research the facts behind the stories and smart people will judge for themselves based on facts, not sound bites. But as long as the sound bites sell, we'll have to keep listening to them. And that, unfortunately, is the primary example of the irresponsibility of consumers who listen to irresponsible reporting and biased news sources when deciding on what they wish to believe.
All news is totally biased in my opinion, & just a glance at the front pages of the morning newspapers will prove it....Some papers says he's a great politician while the others say he's not, whereas they should all say the same because he either is or he isn't it shouldn't be just their opinion....Go on the internet for the real news, & look at "all" the evidence from "all" angles, then make your own mind up....In fact never watch the news again as it's only there to depress us, & give up reading newspapers & stick to the internet....I mean have you ever wondered "why" we need to hear about some sick **** somewhere that abused some kids etc?, how does it benefit us knowing about "that" guy?....They tell us to depress us, & to keep us at home scared..
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