More media bias please!

Here’s an item Karen Unland brought to my attention last night. Since moving to the Internet as a journalist I’ve become more and more interested in the “objectivity” that sits as a cornerstone of our news.

I don’t think objectivity, as is so often heralded by newsrooms and journalists, exists. Certainly one can write a story from a fairly neutral standpoint, especially if there’s plenty of facts and figures to get through, but simply by choosing to report that story there’s been a subjective choice. I’d much rather have more transparent reporting, including that from a biased perspective.

I don’t think “bias” is as bad a word as some journalists, and news consumers, think it is.

(Update: Karen has already tracked down a response to the above link.)

2 thoughts on “More media bias please!”

  1. Just throwing this out there, but wouldn’t “snark” and “zingers” fall under the category of media bias? If, TOTALLY HYPOTHETICALLY OVER HERE, someone thinks someone else has turned themselves into some sort of golem by having themselves literally injected with poison, isn’t that a fair point to bring up in their writing? Truly “biased” journalism should leave room for that kind of personal opinion, not just stuff like “I think these economic policies are bad!”, no? While zingers about Thomas Lulzkaszuk’s hair may not add anything valuable to the political debate, I think they still count as valid opinions.

  2. Short answer: no.

    Long answer: I think too often bias is mixed up with opinion. There’s not really much of an opinion to admit you exercise subjective decision making in choosing the stories you cover. One doesn’t have to fill every story with deep personal history and opinion to be transparent with the audience.

    The idea of opinion – that I’m going to crap all over a banking or government policy because of my political leanings – being the same as bias – that the policy clearly states it will leave people living under the poverty line out of luck – is an argument used by some touting “objectivity” but it really just clouds the discussion.

    As for a personal attack opinion, it’s bias towards crappy writing perhaps. Unless the subject matter is the person at hand (which it wasn’t in the story you’re referencing) it doesn’t speak to the idea of journalistic bias or objectivity.

    Transparent journalism doesn’t mean sinking to low levels of discourse just to shock or get some giggles.

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