Media bias

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  • Pross wrote:
    ...The Sun, Daily Mail, Express or Mirror... 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.).

    I was wondering about this. Access to news isn't really constrained in the UK. If folk want left-wing views they read the Mirror or the Guardian. If they want really left-wing views they read the Morning Star or Socialist Worker. If they want right-wing views they read the Mail or Telegraph etc. If they want balance they read the BBC or (as mentioned by a couple of folk above, the Guardian and the Telegraph).

    So I don't really buy the argument that people's fundamental views are formed by the news source they just happen to access. Isn't it more likely that the various media promote views they think will be popular, as ultimately they want to sell papers or generate advertising revenue? I doubt the Socialist Worker has low circulation because it can't access printing facilities or find people prepared to sell it - the most likely reason is that their views have only a narrow appeal in the UK.
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,283
    As an aside, the Newsroom is a good watch if you want to see a fictional representation of how hard it is to report news accurately.
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,283


    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.

    I disagree with this. Although I have no specific opinions on the incident you mention. Journalists should not just be parrots for the government's stated position. This is the single worst thing about all of the current newspapers - there is blind acceptance of pretty much anything the government / military / intelligence say with regard to war, terrorism etc.

    Glenn Greenwald, as always, is excellent on this subject.
  • TheBigBean wrote:
    As an aside, the Newsroom is a good watch if you want to see a fictional representation of how hard it is to report news accurately.

    I always found "Drop The Dead Donkey" to be quite realistic. ;)
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Glenn Greenwald, as always, is excellent on this subject.
    Definitely an unbiased source :?
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,283
    bompington wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Glenn Greenwald, as always, is excellent on this subject.
    Definitely an unbiased source :?

    What's his bias?
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 71,624
    edited March 2017
    TheBigBean wrote:


    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.

    I disagree with this. Although I have no specific opinions on the incident you mention. Journalists should not just be parrots for the government's stated position. This is the single worst thing about all of the current newspapers - there is blind acceptance of pretty much anything the government / military / intelligence say with regard to war, terrorism etc.

    Glenn Greenwald, as always, is excellent on this subject.

    I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with.

    My issue was the BBC parroting the Russian statements, regardless of their basis in reality (or lack of, in this instance)
  • bompington
    bompington Posts: 7,674
    TheBigBean wrote:
    bompington wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Glenn Greenwald, as always, is excellent on this subject.
    Definitely an unbiased source :?

    What's his bias?
    Bog-standard anti-american lefty :wink:
  • rjsterry
    rjsterry Posts: 27,270
    bompington wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    bompington wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Glenn Greenwald, as always, is excellent on this subject.
    Definitely an unbiased source :?

    What's his bias?
    Bog-standard anti-american lefty :wink:
    He's very critical of his own governments, both Republican and Democrat, so that's not an accurate description. That's not to say he doesn't have an agenda (why on earth shouldn't he?) or that that invalidates his point of view.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Part of the anti-growth coalition
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,283
    rjsterry wrote:
    bompington wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    bompington wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:
    Glenn Greenwald, as always, is excellent on this subject.
    Definitely an unbiased source :?

    What's his bias?
    Bog-standard anti-american lefty :wink:
    He's very critical of his own governments, both Republican and Democrat, so that's not an accurate description. That's not to say he doesn't have an agenda (why on earth shouldn't he?) or that that invalidates his point of view.

    I agree with this. I have read him criticising as well as praising the same organisations. To me that is the important thing, he doesn't blindly accept any organisation is right or wrong, but assesses the actions of the organisation based on its merit. Of course, what he considers merit has some bias, but a lot of that is linked to established law.

    I don't read everything he writes for three reasons: (i) it is wordy (ii) it is very US / Brazil centric (iii) it is utterly depressing. Nonetheless, I have a lot of respect for him.
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,283
    TheBigBean wrote:

    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.

    I disagree with this. Although I have no specific opinions on the incident you mention. Journalists should not just be parrots for the government's stated position. This is the single worst thing about all of the current newspapers - there is blind acceptance of pretty much anything the government / military / intelligence say with regard to war, terrorism etc.

    Glenn Greenwald, as always, is excellent on this subject.

    I like to hear what both governments say on the issue and what the evidence is behind their statements. You have dismissed the Russian government's position because of statements from western governments. In war, the latter have historically been shown to be somewhat less than neutral. As it transpires, it looks like a considerable amount of evidence was found by the Dutch Safety Board such that 15 months after the incident, they concluded that it was indeed the fault of pro-Russian separatists.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 71,624
    TheBigBean wrote:
    TheBigBean wrote:

    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.

    I disagree with this. Although I have no specific opinions on the incident you mention. Journalists should not just be parrots for the government's stated position. This is the single worst thing about all of the current newspapers - there is blind acceptance of pretty much anything the government / military / intelligence say with regard to war, terrorism etc.

    Glenn Greenwald, as always, is excellent on this subject.

    I like to hear what both governments say on the issue and what the evidence is behind their statements. You have dismissed the Russian government's position because of statements from western governments. In war, the latter have historically been shown to be somewhat less than neutral. As it transpires, it looks like a considerable amount of evidence was found by the Dutch Safety Board such that 15 months after the incident, they concluded that it was indeed the fault of pro-Russian separatists.

    Look. I happened to watch the Dutch reports, and they were pretty much bang on on the issue from the start.

    I remember it well. That evening, they basically said stuff along the lines of

    "All the evidence suggests that it was the Russians who did this. They deny this, but then Russia has a policy of always denying these things regardless, so we can't rely on their statement with regard to if they did it or not".

    Now that, to me, is better reporting, is it not?
  • TheBigBean
    TheBigBean Posts: 20,283
    I think we will need to agree to disagree.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 71,624
    TheBigBean wrote:
    I think we will need to agree to disagree.

    Your approach leaves the option open for people to skew the debate and pull the debate towards them by issuing falsehoods and extreme positions.

    You need your journalist to be more critical then that, and have them be explicit in their reasons for being so (so you can decide to agree with it or not)
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,307
    international new york times is my usual, formerly the herald trib (imho it was better then as it had dual nyt/washington post content, with a wider mix of opinion, but even now it still has a mix of lefty/righty/middly contributors)


    news is news
    op-ed is op-ed

    proper newspapers, and online/broadcast news, understand and respect the distinction, as should readers, proper news media also report their factual errors in a clear and timely manner, without weasel words

    most uk newspapers have abused the news/op-ed so profoundly and for so long that some are pure op-ed, no more than mouthpieces for their owners, some clearly self-censor to protect their advertising revenue or their owner's friends/associates, the chances of retraction/correction plummet with the quality of the rag


    'balance' is harder, that needs an honest editor with guts, and principled ownership that values and supports editiorial freedom, mistakes will be made, feathers ruffled, that's ok


    the bbc has degraded itself, scared of the gutter press, infested with political correctness, homogenized by production for multichannel, and debilitated by forced outsourcing; now lacking the guts to make tough calls and justify them, it has replaced balance with kowtowing to rabble raisers and demagogues, 'balance' is not giving equal airtime to the victim and the assailant, nor providing a platform for liars to lie


    taking a simple example, donald trump is a proven liar, and on the record bragging about sexually assaulting women, he has been called out on these and many other things

    he doesn't like it, he really doesn't like it, and he does all he can to devalue truth and present himself as the poor helpless victim, relying on the corrupt and, let's face it, the ill-informed, the ignorant and the just plain stupid, to support him in his whining and ranting

    but he's still a liar, and he's still bragged about sexually assaulting women, he can't change that, these are not matters of opinion, they are matters of fact

    it's not 'fake news', and it is certainly not amusing, reporting it is not bias, it is honest reporting by editors with integrity and guts, supported by owners who care
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • briantrumpet
    briantrumpet Posts: 17,365
    At least we know some of what Trump watches... https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/pos ... d-friends/ - gosh, it doesn't seem very balanced, does it?
  • Frank the tank
    Frank the tank Posts: 6,553
    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?
    I defend the BBC "warts and all", the agenda I was alluding to was refering to Jeremy Corbyn.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • kingstongraham
    kingstongraham Posts: 25,974
    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?
    I defend the BBC "warts and all", the agenda I was alluding to was refering to Jeremy Corbyn.

    If they want to undermine him, they can stick to just reporting what he says and does. I think those who try to attack him only make people feel sorry for him or loyal to him against right wing attacks.
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,061
    RTE and the Irish news outlets have a different slant. Grauniad for the written mainstream press.

    Daily Heil and Daily Excess utterly need free, it's all opinion. Apart from the gratuitous tits.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,061
    bompington wrote:
    Bog-standard anti-american lefty :wink:

    Which pretty much covers anyone who isn't aligned with the current governments in the UK and USA, in relative terms.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.