Media bias, damaging news as a whole
The mainstream, non cable networks, each report on the same stories, every morning and every evening. You would think they could find some other news that is important to Americans. It seems true journalism is dead. Journalism that is unbiased, looks for all the facts on an issue, and reports them no matter what/who/where the light is shone on. Everything is so partisan. The 3 networks are not trustworthy. The shallowness of the reporting is sad. It seems as if someone is giving the big 3 and majority of cable networks the same talking points. The voters were horribly uninformed this past election. There was an easily discernable bias toward one party. There were half-truths, misrepresentations and outright manipulation or ommission of the facts given on many issues leading up to the election. A few examples: Mitt Romney stated in a debate that Chrisler was going to send jobs to China. Move production there. He was ridiculed for weeks in the media about that. It comes out the week of Jan 13, 2013 that it is in fact true. The bailed out automakers still owe us money. The MSM report that it is all paid back. The green energy companies that Stimulus money went to. Billions were wasted on companies that went bankrupt, and just happened to be headed by Obama donors. Silence from the media. The story about Head Start's lack of impact on children's learning and future success was withheld until Jan 2013. Gas prices went down last fall, because the EPA lifted it's mixing standards temporarily, and not a peep about the reason. The jobs numbers..Gov doesn't include the U6 numbers, which make a huge difference. Obama donor in the CA employment commission, withholds the job numbers from report right before election..silence. Obama told military contractors to wait to layoff the workers they were going to have to lay off till after the election. It was illegal for them to do so and not tell the workers they were going to be laid off. Obama told the contractors that he/Gov't would pay the penalty for them. Not a peep from the big networks. The stories about Obama's family members staying here past their visa's illegally, and receiving Gov housing. If that was George Bush..can you imagine??? Mitt Romney received many death threats, while in Atlanta in an online newspaper, on Twitter and Facebook. Before the election, the same. Way more than Obama got, and there were many threats of rioting in the streets if Romney won, killing romney supporters, (twitter/facebook) yet only Obama threats/insults were ever reported. The media didn't do any research into Obama's school years, his friends. etc like they did George Bush. Anything found was found by Fox news or independent reporters. The misrepresentations about Mitt Romney and the businesses he supposedly raided and then dumped. MSM never told the truth about those, or the truth about the faslehoods in Obama ad campaigns concerning that issue. The other networks ignore anything if they don't find it. Majority of hosts, guests and programming is openly hostile to conservative principles. Even the conservative guests are usually so called rhino's. Our founders planned on journalists being a watchdog for the american people, to make sure Gov't didn't overstep it's boundaries. Now, main stream/and all of cable except for Fox, (and even Fox is getting too entertainment oriented), are the Gov't lapdogs. (I realize they do throw conservatives a bone every now and then, but it is rare) It is dangerous when majority of tv news is so one sided and shallow. Someone needs to break up this cozy relationship between the networks and the WH. And we need some new Journalism schools, but that's not your problem : ) Until we have total committment to truth in broadcasting, we will wind up with a Chavez who will rape this land and destroy personal freedom in leadership. Exactly what the framers and founders were trying to protect us from and were so concerned about. Help. We need a media outlet, especially during election year, that is totally fact based and not partisan. Letting the chips fall where they may. It will take big money. Can't be gov't funded. I guess we would need a truly bipartisan committee (that has 'term limits') to oversee the news/facts. At least the people would know they could believe one source. It is hard to research all the stories for yourself, it takes time to dig through books, files and the internet.
There are many issues currently facing news media, especially broadcast news. The media conglomerates have grown to become so large that their news reporting has suffered. News agencies need to maintain their balance of relevant community news as well as their reporting on global affairs. In doing this they must also keep in check what they actually call news. Entertainment is too often seen as the deciding factor in what is aired. However the most important issue is the agendas of individual news agencies.
Agendas, or more broadly, one-sided reporting not only leave the recipients with a single view point of the argument, but also has changed the way the public goes about obtaining their news. In the current internet and information age there are countless news portals; from the internet, print, television, radio or even word-of mouth. Because of this people are becoming less informed, both by choice and by the news environment. Individuals can and are more likely to seek out news sources that coincide with their own opinions and viewpoints. The agendas of specific news companies only hinder the issue.
These agendas more often times than not come to the surface on the subject of politics. The art of debate and the showing of opposing ideas during reported news segments has drastically declined. More often than not the news will simple show one side of the story, or one person’s opinion on a matter. Jonathan Morris says in “Slanted Objectivity” that this has left, in the viewer’s opinion, specific perceived media biases towards certain news agencies. This related back to the issue of selective exposure to media. Selective exposure is even more evident in the political realm. Individuals are again, more likely to seek out news sources that go along with their own political views; as argued by Markus Prior’s article “News vs. Entertainment”. For people this only strengthens their beliefs, regardless if they are knowingly or unknowingly getting only one side of the story. If an individual senses a political biased on one news station, they actively seek another station, then usually this other station has a bias towards the other direction; again argued by Jonathan Morris. Instead of solving this growing issue it only facilitates it.
The issue has grown so out of control. Both ends of politics have started to receive their “news” from extreme sources. Jonathan Morris’ study found that conservatives’ primary source of news comes from the very right wing Fox News. Meanwhile, to counter balance this, it seems more liberal and many younger viewers turn to political satire programs such as The Daily Show. At this point it can be argued that both are equally credible because they take these blatant biases to excessive levels. The bias of certain news programs have become so strong that they are now viewed at the same level as comedy programs.
In the end news outlets need to return to the basics of reporting. They must be able to present both sides of a story and credible sources for both sides of an issue. Moreover open debate on topics must become more frequent, with the building of logical arguments. Only after this will a more bipartisan news agency be available for the public’s viewing.