A worthwhile piece on media bias–

To be more specific, a piece that claims the usual discussions of media bias fail to capture the phenomenon.  Read it here.  Here is a representative sample:

5. He said, she said journalism, a formation I have been trying to bust up by pushing for more fact checking.

“He said, she said” journalism means…

– There’s a public dispute.
– The dispute makes news.
– No real attempt is made to assess clashing truth claims in the story, even though they are in some sense the reason for the story. (Under the “conflict makes news” test.)
– The means for assessment do exist, so it’s possible to exert a factual check on some of the claims, but for whatever reason the report declines to make use of them.
– The symmetry of two sides making opposite claims puts the reporter in the middle between polarized extremes.

When these five conditions are met, the genre is in gear.

via Daily Howler.

5 thoughts on “A worthwhile piece on media bias–”

  1. oh really? Ideology and corporate ownership are not the primary drivers of bias? How would Fox News and the Daily Show survive without blatant ideological bias? That’s basically what people watch for! And corporate ownership rarely steers a news outlet, but it does restrict what can be said, thus placing limitations on discourse.

    This is just another typical, “let me take something simple, set up some straw men and present my view as the more nuanced and even handed approach.” The linked article is about on the same intellectual level as sociology (see “made of crap that people like to call a social science.”)

  2. Do you see a typical battle of the talking heads on Fox as "journalism"? There is a difference between journalism and "news entertainment".
    The Daily Show is in its own words "fake news" – it's a comedy show on a comedy station.

  3. That's right Aaron. It's a comedy show whose primary function is to make fun of our inane news media.  Sheesh, Andrew.  Unless I sent a link to the wrong thing, I think your characterization of the article is completely wrong. 

  4. Well it's a little bit of a change in topic to talk about the Daily Show, but okay.  The show has a bias, and that's not a problem.  Fox News has a bias, MSNBC has a bias.  I've got problem with bias, so long as it's up front what that bias is.  Then you know what to take with a grain of salt.
    However, when I hear people say that Fox News is the only honest and balanced news show, or that the Daily Show is somehow a less tainted infotainment treat because it's got a layer of comedy instead of indignation, I am overcome with pity.  Pity of course for all the people who get their news information form Fox News or the likes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.  Bad logic abounds, and people lap it up because it reinforces their preconceived and outdated biases (Fox does this more) or because everything that's said that I agree with must be true, and everything else is ironic comedy (The Colbert Report does this more than the Daily Show to be sure, but both are guilty of it.)
    The insistence that by an individual that Fox really is "fair and balanced" or that The Daily Show is simultaneously a great source of information AND not to be taken seriously, sets off my "blind sheep follower" alert.  As well it should.

  5. The person who looks to the Daily Show as anything other than a satire show is an idiot.  They are perhaps more of an idiot than the person who believes Fox is Fair and Balanced.

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