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What should journalists do about their bias?

 
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 10:22 pm
@Ceili,
Ceili wrote:

I just read two articles from a Texan newspaper comparing Canadians to Nazis. There a bias eh!


Relevance?

But then Celli you find it advantageous to score A2K "Cool Points" by taking shots at Texas, irrespective of whether or not the subject corresponds to the thread.

Idiotic, pure and simple.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 10:30 pm
@Setanta,
You're right (Oh here comes the Big One Elizabeth!).

Or, at least, partially right.

An expectation that journalists should be objective may be ridiculous based on prior experience.

If that is the case, however, then it leads to a convincing argument that Journalism has no credible ethos.

I've no problem, whatsoever, with journalists who allow their biases to color their reports...providing that they make it clear to their audience that they are advancing opinion, rather than fact.

This, if we are all honest, aint happening.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 10:31 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

Actually, the bias starts with selecting the pure facts (=news, story).




Which means what?

I thought the only inscruitable race on earth was Chinese, but now I find it may even be German.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 10:45 pm
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

Setanta wrote:

Frankly, i don't know where the notion that newspapers (or other such sources, as we now have many) are obliged to be objective comes from.


exactly, i wish i knew where more journalist stood on issues, it would make it easier to decide who to listen to or not

i loved it when the guy came out and told tiger woods that he could never find redemption without christianity, i knew then he wasn't a journalist for me, but at least he was being honest to his convictions




My point exactly.

If your journalistic report is based on personal opinion, TELL US.

If your opinions are influenced by a particular bias, then own up to them and don't cop an attitude of obectivity. This may contradict the Journalistic Ethos, but it is, at very least, honest.

Unfortunately, there are people who belive that Brian Williams, Katie Couric, and Diane Sawyer are truly objective Talking Heads, despite the fact that they have every incentive (political and economic) to subjectively throw their lots to one or the other partisan persuasion.

What people should understand is that there is very little they can trust to be objective coming from the MSM.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 10:53 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

There are two parts to the perception of bias, the actual bias of the sender and the actual bias of the receiver. During the civil rights movement, you were biased towards support for the movement. This was probably true for the reporters as well, so you perceived minimal bias. If you were the Grand Poopah of the KKK, you would probably have interpreted the press coverage as amazingly biased. If a reporter produces a piece on a charged issue that is perfectly evenly balanced, I would expect howls from both extreme ends of the issue. I don't think it is possible to produce a reasonably factual report on a contentious issue and have every one agree that it's not biased. Moreover, if you are on one end of the political spectrum on just about every issue, you will likely perceive every report as biased, even if it actually leans slightly in your favor.


I like you engineer, but this is a simplistic and sorry response.

What you seem to be arguing is that objectivity can never be recognized.

BS

Folks who adhere to your philosophy will, uniformly, tell us is this is a non-issue.

Relativity is the "Safe Room," of Liberals.

Ethics are not dependent upon situational challenges. They always imply that they are axiomatic and that diversion requires explanation.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 11:04 pm
@spendius,
spendius wrote:

Interesting subject Finn.

Quote:
The Law and Medicine are powerful forces in our society and we are well served by the professional ethics that have been developed and are enforced by their professions. Journalism too is a powerful force in our society and while those who call themselves journalists like to pontificate about journalistic ethics, very few of them are true professionals.


I'm not sure everyone would agree with the first sentence of that. I certainly don't. And no respectable Darwinian could find it possible in relation to the medical profession. Psuedo-Darwinians are another matter of course but we needn't detain ourselves with what a load silly psuedos think or say.

You own bias is peeping out there old chap. Both professions should send you a fee for promoting their excellence in that way. Both would appreciate how you nearly slipped one past our guard.

As for journalism, it doesn't work in the national interest, as we perceive it, unless it's a " Devil take the hindmost" melee. Once the consumer of journalism, who is generally much freer than victims of the legal and medical professions in his or her choices, is aware of the Darwinian aspects of the profession then he or she is provided with sufficient information to excercise his or her free choice.

I think the alternative might be compared to reading out a train timetable as we have seen on news broadcasts from countries where totalitarianism is in a more advanced state than is the case here.

It is clear from Origin of Species that ravening wolf types and assholes in general have a reproductive advantage over little lambs and goodie-goodies.




I'm not sure everyone would agree with the first sentence of that.

Finn wrote:
The Law and Medicine are powerful forces in our society and we are well served by the professional ethics that have been developed and are enforced by their professions.


OK, you're not sure, but I'm not sure that everyone would agree with the argument that Life is a product of Divine Design.

So effin what?

Tell me why you, or others, don't agree with my first sentence. If it's only you that disagrees, fair enough, but one has to wonder why you felt the need to gilt the liliy.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 03:00 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

Walter Hinteler wrote:

Actually, the bias starts with selecting the pure facts (=news, story).




Which means what?


Exactly what I wrote: bias starts when someone selects a news, a story.
(Well, that's what I remember when studying journalism from the history of journalism seminar. I can be wrong, though.)

Finn dAbuzz wrote:

I thought the only inscruitable race on earth was Chinese, but now I find it may even be German.


Didn't know that German is considered a race in the USA.
But I'm glad to have been able to teach you something new - and vice versa. (Though I suppose, there's a small typo in your response. But since English isn't my first language and Latin words - here: inscrutabilis - are used differently in the USA, I might be wrong.)
Thanks.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 04:15 am
Finn, while expressing his own partisan-motivated bias, sneers at others on a contention that they have displayed theirs. No surprises there.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 05:16 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
OK, you're not sure, but I'm not sure that everyone would agree with the argument that Life is a product of Divine Design.


I did follow saying that I wasn't sure everybody would agree with that first sentence by saying that I certainly didn't. My form of words allowed that most people probably do agree with it. Thanks to much bias.

I was obviously referring to the "well served". Ivan Illich in his book Medical Nemesis takes such a notion to task very strenuously. He gilds the lily. I hardly touched it.

The point was that the phrase showed a bias and I gained the impression that bias was what you were complaining about.

Quote:
So effin what?


Well Finn- such a remark might be applied to the starter post of the thread and to A2K itself.

Quote:
Tell me why you, or others, don't agree with my first sentence.


That's rather a large ask. The size of the professions which procludes excellence by definition. The well known rapaciousness of them which Rabelais has fun with. The confusion they cause. The continuous stories which emerge almost daily about the seamy sides of them. Their secretive nature. My meeting socially with members of both.

They are "okay". We get what we pay for more or less. "Well served" was going too far. It was an assertion anyway.

I don't think that the argument about Divine design is at all comparable.

And I gave my point of view about journalists. I think that on the whole that profession, also far from perfect, serves us better than most. It is the bias of journalists that is one of our strengths and thus I don't think they need to do anything about it.

I think where we are pretty well served is by engineers, waste disposal, the military, brewers, scientists, transportation and generally by all those who compete for our money, as journalists do, without us being supplicants.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 12:06 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
The late weekend night Finn that goes on insulting binges always reminds me of this Gmail feature:

Mail Goggles
0 Replies
 
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 03:43 pm
I agree with Spendi, and the bosses-that-be of journalists don't consider whether they or biased, or not biased, it's whether people listen to or read them. If someone is complaining about a journalist they are reading or listening to them, finding what they say interesting.

It isn't really possible for a journalist to be "unbiased." May as well go back to those days of How-What-When-Where and How.
0 Replies
 
 

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