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A few weeks ago, I got into a rather heated debate with a local journalist when I made the statement there was no such thing as unbiased journalism.
The reported took offense at my statement, and basically told me that the journalism school she went to taught that reporters could be, and should be absolutely objective.
The other night, I wrote a story about Ada Betty Cuadros-Fernandez, a Peruvian immigrant nanny convicted of capital murder in the death of a 14 month old boy in her charge.
Her trial was covered extensively not only here in Collin county, but also in Peru. One aspect of the disparate coverage in both nations were the images of Ms. Ada Cuadros-Fernandez.
Which one of these ladies looks like the murderer?
There are many good honest journalists doing their best to cover the news today, but they work for editors who work for corporate owned publications who work for those who buy advertising in their publications. The business men and women who control the journalist channels of communication do add a color of bias to the news.
In his column, E. J. Dionne of the Washington Post writes that there's a definite conservative slant in the media:
If you doubt that there is a conservative inclination in the media, consider which arguments you hear regularly and which you don’t. When Rush Limbaugh sneezes or Newt Gingrich tweets, their views ricochet from the Internet to cable television and into the traditional media. It is remarkable how successful they are in setting what passes for the news agenda.This is why so many, particularly the younger generation, are turning to internet news sources.
While the right wing’s rants get wall-to-wall airtime, you almost never hear from the sort of progressive members of Congress who were on an America’s Future panel Tuesday. Reps. Jared Polis of Colorado, Donna Edwards of Maryland and Raul Grijalva of Arizona all said warm things about the president—they are Democrats, after all— but also took issue with some of his policies.
There is a deep and largely unconscious conservative bias in the media’s discussion of policy. The range of acceptable opinion runs from the moderate left to the far right and cuts off more vigorous progressive perspectives.
OpEd Link - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/03/AR2009060303239.html
The Pew Research Center survey found in a December 2008 study that for the first time more people rely on the internet (40%) than newspapers (35%) for news among all age groups. Television continues to be cited most frequently as a main source for among all age groups, but for young people the internet now rivals even television as a main source of all news. Nearly six-in-ten Americans younger than 30 (59%) say they get most of their national and international news online. This mirrors a trend seen throughout 2008 in campaign news consumption.
In an October 2008 Pew Center survey the percent of people who say they look to the internet for their political campaign news tripled among all age groups from 10% in October 2004 to 33% in October 2008. Among younger Americans ages 18 to 29, however, more people (49%) mention the internet as mention newspapers (17%) as a main source of election news. Nearly half of all Americans (46 percent) say they regularly received news about political campaigns, share political views or mobilize others to action using the internet and cell-phone text messaging.
The business men and women of the newspaper industry should be asking themselves if their conservative news formula is at the root of the industry's financial distress!
Could this be why American newspaper circulation numbers are in deep decline while blog readership continues to climb? Is this why the American newspaper industry is mired in debt and near financial collapse?
The Democratic Blog of Collin Co.
Where were those other journalists you mention when this trial was going on? Perhaps they were biased against reporting on it.
I must chuckle everytime I read uninformed viewpoints about the status of the newspaper industry from those who know it the least.
As a former journalist-editor-publisher-owner, who worked for 30 YEARS covering everything from P&Z boredom to murder scenes, I can tell you this: NO reporter can see any story TOTALLY objective - can't be done but you TRY as much as possible to do it ... in news coverage. When you write opinion columns or editorials, you present the side you wish to present.
I don't know Mr. Handley but he doesn't have much of a grasp as to why circulation among American newspapers is down (higher blog readership has more to do with free access than what actually appears in print) or publishing finances.
Bill, send me an e-mail (email@example.com) and tell me who is was and what the full conversation was.
And this: the American public LOVES seeing people at their worst - albeit celebrities, athletes, politicans, etc. The use of mug shot photos is pretty standard among area papers ... unless she was a missing white girl for which the best glamour shot would be employed.
And yes, there IS a tinge of racism involved (sorry but telling truth to power demands it).
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