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Media's role

  • Oct. 2nd, 2008 at 11:55 AM
Hey, all, Melissa here.

Something a little self-indulgent today, since as a reporter, I'm obviously concerned with the way audiences view our role.

Have fun watching the debate tonight! Look forward to hearing what you think on that tomorrow....

Do you trust the media and their covering of the election? Do you think there is a liberal bias? Is it a problem for commentators (and bloggers...) to have a bias? What should the media be doing differently?


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1trackmind wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
If there's a bias it's towards the right because the MSM is trying to hard not to appear to have a bias to the left. It's a lost cause. These are the same people who are still crying persecution even though they've been in power (and abused that power) for most of the last 8 years. Even if all news outlets were a Fox News they'd all be accusing the other of a liberal bias. You can't win. It's okay to say you lean a certain way but still be fair to both sides. Having said that, if one side is full of it, then no, you don't have to show both sides. If one group says the earth revolves around the sun and the other says the sun revolves around the earth then don't treat them as equally valid points of view. But the MSM will treat them the same because they want to avoid appearing "biased." Stop it. If someone is completely, objectively wrong in what they're saying, you don't have to give their side of it and doing so only gives them credibility they might not otherwise have.

I would really appreciate in-depth analysis of news stories and issues. Tell me what is factually true, not just that X made Y claim. The courts have said it's perfectly okay for politicians to tell lies in their ads. That means it's up to the media to help inform the public when those ads contain lies. And both sides do it, Democrat and Republican, I have no illusions about that.

And for God's sake, don't just print whatever the White House spokesmen says and end the story there. Is what s/he said true?

Less of the media covering the media. If you want to navel gaze, that's fine, but do it on your own time in places like this one or on the website devoted to your paper/magazine/tv show/radio show.

The MSM has to find a way to start asking tough questions again. And if a politician's handlers don't allow that, there should be some consequences to that. You can't talk to Palin? That should be an issue. You can't ask questions of the White House Press Secretary? That should be an issue, too. (There's a difference between doing news stories on the successes and failures of news organizations and saying we can't get basic information from our leaders). The era of secrecy at the top levels of government need to end. The only group that can bring the sunshine is the media.

Also, I don't care if bloggers are biased. I prefer they state it upfront, but I don't hold them to the same journalist standards (unless the person is a professional reporter publishing the blog on the website of her publication).
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