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Media bias

ben@31[email protected] Posts: 2,322
edited March 2017 in The cake stop
I've always wanted an online news site where I can just get news. No spin, no agenda, no bias. Just the facts and both sides of the story, the pros AND the cons.

Is this too much to ask for?

Every "news" site now seems to have their own agenda, where only their viewpoint is right and everyone else is "fake news"

Comically, even The Guardian has an article criticising fake news outlets but then it's other articles are as biased as anyone else. With some of its authors living in a rose-tinted bubble.

Has anyone found the golden site where it only tells what has happened in the world, just factual information ?
"The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
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  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,483
    The BBC comes closest in my opinion It tends to get accused of bias by both sides of any debate, though I do think they are anti-Trump in their coverage of US politics. Their reality check pages tend to be good.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    I'll watch BBC for the news and read both The Telegraph and The Guardian, fully aware of each outlets bias/limitations and in the case of The Telegraph, appalling bias towards Manure.

    For some reason I'll accept whatever The Today programme says as Gospel though. It's wonderful. Especially Sarah and Mishal.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • Thigh_burnThigh_burn Posts: 489
    Most mainstream news sites / media in the UK have far less 'bias' than conspiracy theorists like to think.

    You may not like the fact that most journalists live in London, or even a particular area of London. Or that they speak with a similar accent, or whatever other bias you yourself have.

    If a reader doesn't want opinion, then don't read the comment columns. But as for news, it's usually fairly straight. Clearly certain outlets write about things they think their readers will like, but with so much available online, as a reader you can pick and choose.

    Obviously the media has shot itself in the foot by failing to make you pay for that news, but that's a whole other issue.
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    Yeah, was gonna suggest the BBC too.

    As above, they tend to be accused of bias, but I think they mostly use a straight bat.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 12,564
    I'd second the BBC as the best there is although I have also been searching for an independent news source online.

    Newsnight is very good at bringing experts of opposing opinions to discuss things.

    Otherwise, I think independent bloggers are the future. The trouble with a lot of journalists is that they don't actually have any knowledge about the subject they are reporting on which is a serious handicap in writing a meaningful article. The best articles I have read on the Guardian are all written by experts in something.

    Wikipedia is a reasonable source as well, but it is not structured so that you can see popular recent edits. Perhaps one day it will be.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    A lot of people won't have direct access to them but official HMG (be it - in my case, MOD) strategic briefing papers are a good source of info.

    Comprehensive, well written, non biased.

    Track down old ones if you can for backgrounds to current affairs.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 15,790
    Comically, even The Guardian has an article criticising fake news outlets but then it's other articles are as biased as anyone else. With some of its authors living in a rose-tinted bubble.

    There is a big difference between fake news and biased reporting (though you wouldn't think so if you listen to Donald Trump.)

    There is no unbiased news source - the mere act of distilling the whole world into newsworthy and not newsworthy inevitably involves a judgment. I think the BBC tries hardest - but as said, it definitely has an anti-Trump bias. For example their article on Time magazine's person of the year.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 12,564
    Is this the Guardian article in question?

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ght-for-it

    The fact free article makes the follow assertion
    Journalists have to learn something profound from this. In an ideological crisis, facts alone do not win arguments: narratives do. The clearest difference between the liberal-democratic newspapers – including this one – and those of the right is that the former have no overarching narrative. They espouse a series of good causes. They partake in stolid investigations hidebound by numerous self-imposed rules, as a result of which nobody gets busted.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,769
    I'll watch BBC for the news and read both The Telegraph and The Guardian, fully aware of each outlets bias/limitations and in the case of The Telegraph, appalling bias towards Manure.

    For some reason I'll accept whatever The Today programme says as Gospel though. It's wonderful. Especially Sarah and Mishal.
    I used to rate the Independent (had it delivered every day for about 20 years), but it's pretty much a pile of poo these days. Like you I look at the Graun, the Torygraph (also a bit of a pile of poo these days - a shadow of its former self), a couple of French papers (Le Monde, Le Dauphiné Liberé), and currently the Washington Post and New York Times with the pantomime that the US is at the moment. Der Spiegel (there is an online English edition) is also decent for a more European view.

    The only broadcast news I can cope with is on Radio 3, which pretty much just says the basic headlines with absolutely no interpretation, the only bias being what they select and the order they present the headlines.

    The BBC is probably the closest you'll get if looking for a single source, but even then you need to be sceptical and aware of the limitations/possible biases.
  • bianchimoonbianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    http://www.reuters.com
    i think they play with a straight bat?
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,769
    http://www.reuters.com
    i think they play with a straight bat?
    A good call, not one I'd thought of bookmarking before. Thanks.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,705 Lives Here
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Is this the Guardian article in question?

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... ght-for-it

    The fact free article makes the follow assertion
    Journalists have to learn something profound from this. In an ideological crisis, facts alone do not win arguments: narratives do. The clearest difference between the liberal-democratic newspapers – including this one – and those of the right is that the former have no overarching narrative. They espouse a series of good causes. They partake in stolid investigations hidebound by numerous self-imposed rules, as a result of which nobody gets busted.

    Comment is free is their opinion page, and the source of a lot of the guardianista type columns that get mocked elsewhere.

    Ain't an article. Is an opinion piece.

    And yes, if the news is free, there's an agenda.
  • surrey_commutersurrey_commuter Posts: 13,572
    if looking for news about the UK then foreign titles like NYT and HuffPo will give you an insight into how the rest of the world sees us
  • andcpandcp Posts: 645
    Dinyull wrote:
    Yeah, was gonna suggest the BBC too.

    As above, they tend to be accused of bias, but I think they mostly use a straight bat.
    ...unless the story has any connection to Mr Rupert Murdoch and his Sky empire, or it's 'news' about a sport they just happen to be broadcasting. I used to defend the BBC, but nowadays I'd be quite happy to be able to stop paying my licence fee if it wasn't obligatory.
    "It must be true, it's on the internet" - Winston Churchill
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,769
    Andcp wrote:
    Dinyull wrote:
    Yeah, was gonna suggest the BBC too.

    As above, they tend to be accused of bias, but I think they mostly use a straight bat.
    ...unless the story has any connection to Mr Rupert Murdoch and his Sky empire, or it's 'news' about a sport they just happen to be broadcasting. I used to defend the BBC, but nowadays I'd be quite happy to be able to stop paying my licence fee if it wasn't obligatory.
    It's not obligatory. Well, not if you don't have a TV.

    I must say, I think TV news is one of the very worst ways to consume news, as it's just morbid showtime. If you've never seen The Day Today, you really should: Chris Morris skewers TV news perfectly.

    Re the BBC - maybe the best news sources will merely be the 'least worst' - there will always, naturally, be the bias towards self-survival, so an element of self-promotion (and viewing competitors who are out to screw you with scepticism). The Graun is caught between wanting to make its journalism as widely available as possible (i.e., full content freely available), but incurring the costs of proper journalism (unlike, say, the stripped-down Independent-type of churnolism). How long that model will be able to last I don't know, but I think it shoud be applauded. One of the ironic outcomes of Trump's attacks on organs like the NYT and WaPo is that the number of subscribers has increased enormously.
  • crispybug2crispybug2 Posts: 2,915
    I would go for the BBC as well

    If both the left wing and the right wing accuse them of bias the they're probably getting the balance about correct!
  • ProssPross Posts: 26,985
    In terms of basic news the BBC is fine but they've recently started going down the route of sensationalising some items, particularly in their sports reporting. The thing is news would be quite limited if just reported as simple facts but as soon as anyone starts to flesh it out an element of opinion starts coming into the equation.

    As for the comment that that most mainstream UK media is less biased than we think I'm not sure what is classed as mainstream but pretty much all print media has an agenda and in the case of the likes of The Sun, Daily Mail, Express or Mirror you'd be hard pressed to find balance. The problem is that they nearly all have a right of centre view that then potentially influences the opinions of the public (see Brexit / immigration etc.).
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,756
    Everyone has an agenda, even if that agenda is to try and be as objective as possible, someone has to choose what is covered and what is not and in what degree of detail. I'd far rather people had an agenda and we're open about it than the kind of pseudo-objectivity you sometimes see where it is debased into finding anyone with a contrary viewpoint - however poorly thought through - to give 'balance'.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,032
    rjsterry wrote:
    Everyone has an agenda, even if that agenda is to try and be as objective as possible, someone has to choose what is covered and what is not and in what degree of detail. I'd far rather people had an agenda and we're open about it than the kind of pseudo-objectivity you sometimes see where it is debased into finding anyone with a contrary viewpoint - however poorly thought through - to give 'balance'.

    ^this...
    the BBC really did let the UK down over Brexit, they were far too interested in providing so called balance regardless, rather than actually challenging the claims from each camp and calling out the misinformation.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,705 Lives Here
    rjsterry wrote:
    Everyone has an agenda, even if that agenda is to try and be as objective as possible, someone has to choose what is covered and what is not and in what degree of detail. I'd far rather people had an agenda and we're open about it than the kind of pseudo-objectivity you sometimes see where it is debased into finding anyone with a contrary viewpoint - however poorly thought through - to give 'balance'.

    Quite right.

    I have a particular bug bear with the BBC, which I think is increasingly sh!te journalism, but even more with the "the right think they're biased to the left, the left to the right, so it's balanced!" as if somehow all issues worth reporting on can be divided into binary viewpoints.

    The particular bugbear is illustrated in the passenger aeroplane that was shut down by Russians in Ukraine.

    Now, it became clear within 4-5 hours that it was the Russians who accidentally shot it down.

    Yet, even weeks later, the BBC would report "it has been suggested that the Russians have shot it down, but the Russians deny this" and every single report gave a lot of time to offering the Russian lie. And that was what it was, a lie.

    Sometimes there isn't another side. Sometimes, sh!t is what it is, and it needs to be reported as such.

    Meanwhile, when there are issues that are multifaceted, such as say, the Syrian war, it all gets boiled down into issues that are no more than 5 bullet points long, and, on the telly, they avoid discussing the intractable political difficulties in any detail and instead focus on what is easy to ram down stupid throats in a 3 minute segment - which is usually some suffering civilians. Problem is, that wears very thin within a week and meanwhile, no-one understands how complex it is.

    So when it comes to UK intervention into Syria, the public is wholly ill prepared to understand the complexities of the discussion.

    But the worst, THE WORST, is the feedback loop they use to fill their own air time.

    They'll report on something, anything, and then a day later, fill 5 minutes of the telly asking people in the street what they think of the issue that they watched on the BBC the day before, asking for their views.

    IT's this awful feedback loop. And the insistence that all opinions are entitled, however wrong, means any dross that gets put out in day one gets fed back into the reports AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.

    --

    Ultimately as RJS says, you can't not have an agenda. So what you need to do is set the agenda out clearly and in sight, and stick rigorously to it.

    A good journalist isn't one who gets ratings, but can convey the crux of the issue, and marshal the facts, rumours, opinions, and mash that all together.

    They're human, they'll make mistakes, but it's got to be better than the weak dross the BBC serves up.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,705 Lives Here
    Ultimately bias is a red herring.

    What you want to go after is high quality journalism that is transparent in agenda and viewpoint, but who are good at the above ^^.

    Everything's biased. It's about how honest they are about it, and how good they are at reporting on stuff.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    As much as any political bias, what really gets my goat is the "tabloidisation" of the news. The worst aspect of this is the way you are told how to feel - if there's a sad story they do everything short of violins on the soundtrack.
    Just tell us what happened please.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 6,769
    bompington wrote:
    As much as any political bias, what really gets my goat is the "tabloidisation" of the news. The worst aspect of this is the way you are told how to feel - if there's a sad story they do everything short of violins on the soundtrack.
    Just tell us what happened please.
    Hugh Whatsisface on BBC does this with his 'serious face' (involving eyebrows), while inside you can imagine the glee at having a good meaty emotive story to act out. It makes me want to vomit.
  • Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,806
    To quote Denzil Washington: "If you don't read the papers you're uninformed, if you do read the papers you're ill informed".

    I suppose the best way to attempt to get any kind of balanced view is to by a selection of papers covering the political spectrum.

    As for the BBC, most governments claim they are biased, so they must be doing something right. Personally I believe they have an agenda.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 19,756
    bompington wrote:
    As much as any political bias, what really gets my goat is the "tabloidisation" of the news. The worst aspect of this is the way you are told how to feel - if there's a sad story they do everything short of violins on the soundtrack.
    Just tell us what happened please.
    Hugh Whatsisface on BBC does this with his 'serious face' (involving eyebrows), while inside you can imagine the glee at having a good meaty emotive story to act out. It makes me want to vomit.
    Equally off-putting is Fiona Bruce cocking a faintly suggestive eyebrow to a story about Syrian refugees. :?
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • mr_goomr_goo Posts: 3,755
    During WW2 all sides had agencies that were tasked with inventing stories/propaganda that were picked up by media outlets around the world. The stories were part of the orchestration of the events of WW2, used to influence other countries into various actions.
    I'm pretty sure it hasn't stopped.
    Always be yourself, unless you can be Aaron Rodgers....Then always be Aaron Rodgers.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 4,020
    Anyone watch that interview with two black sisters from USA who used to be democrat but are now bloggers actively supporting Trump? They were hilarious and since they appeared on BBC newsnight u think they clearly show how biased the BBC is over Trump.

    I mean if you wanted to show you're unbiased would you have two batsh1t crazy sisters on to support Trump? They were more crazy than Trump! Seriously i wasn't paying attention because i was online shopping for some kit but it grabbed my afternoon. I watched it amazed. They even claimed to have been at Obama's inauguration crowd and at Trump's claiming Trump's was a lot bigger. They claimed it was all about fake news camera angles or something like that. Imagine two Diane Abbotts defending Corbyn but a lot crazier!
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    Imagine two Diane Abbotts defending Corbyn but a lot crazier!
    Well no - imagine two Diane Abbotts defending Farage
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 15,790
    As for the BBC, most governments claim they are biased, so they must be doing something right. Personally I believe they have an agenda.

    What's their "agenda"? Or is that just a more sinister sounding word for bias?
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,684
    I have to say, "The American people hacked the election" is a bloody great line.
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