Debate and Discussion

(Un)Fairness and (In)Accuracy in Reporting
timelike01 at 10:07AM, April 1, 2008
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According to my estimation, you can't trust FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) anymore than you can trust Fox News. Because like Fox News, FAIR focuses on the issues they support and ignore the issues they don't care about. For example, FAIR made a big protest about how the “news” media rarely mentioned the potential dangers of the nuclear-powered Cassini space probe. Yet at the same time, FAIR refused to mention how that same media rarely mentioned the Delta Clipper reusable rocket program – a program that involved a NON-NUCLEAR, pollution-free spacecraft. I contacted FAIR about the Delta Clipper issue. But of course they completely ignored me. I have to conclude from this that FAIR is filled to brim with anti-nuclear reactionaries who hate advanced technology to death.

Yes, yes, yes! I know everybody is biased! And I also know that a lot of folks love to feign fairness and accuracy and don't care what a scam that is. But I still insist that these media-types be truthful in at least on regard: That they're not fair and balanced. Of course as things stand now, it looks like FAIR and Fox News will continue to share their desire to lie to the public about their “fairness” and “balance.”

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Custard Trout at 11:39AM, April 1, 2008
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The problem with news programmes is that they are a form of media, they can only report the things their target demographic would find interesting, or they go out of business.

It isn't their job to deliver facts to you, it is their job to make money, just like every other job.

I find the best thing to do is read or watch several different news outlets, then compare and contrast the information from all of them to form your own estimations. Discussing them on forums or with friends is a good idea as well.
Hey buddy, you should be a Russian Cosmonaut, and here's why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:00PM
Frostflowers at 12:32AM, April 2, 2008
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Agreeing with Custard Trout on all points. The fair and balanced view is a nice thought, and some news channels manage it better than others, but any media is biased to some extent.

The whole thing comes down to money, of course. Why are there so many newspaper pages devoted to that celebrities might or might not have done last week? 'Cause it sells newspapers. News media like scandals or gory accidents or wars, because it sells so well, and giving a one-sided, unfair presentation of it is easier than to do the fair and balanced view. Takes less time.
The Continued Misadventures of Bonebird - a poor bird's quest for the ever-elusive and delicious apples.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
timelike01 at 7:10AM, April 2, 2008
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Since for-profit “news” services are so concerned with profit (which is something I've been aware of for many, many years), then it would be more accurate to refer to them as entertainment services. But more to the point, FAIR – though a nonprofit organization – seems to be just as focused on their target audience as the for-profit “news” services. Maybe it would also be more accurate to call FAIR an entertainment service as well.

last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Frostflowers at 10:23AM, April 2, 2008
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Well, yes. Even non-profit organisations need to focused on their target demographic - otherwise, no one would pay very much attention to them, and it's attention they want.
The Continued Misadventures of Bonebird - a poor bird's quest for the ever-elusive and delicious apples.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
ozoneocean at 1:21AM, April 3, 2008
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One of the problems with news services these days is that they're underfunded. They've always had to appeal to audiences, so that's not the main reason for the drastic lack of quality we see these days, rather the philosophy has changed and they don't have the man power to follow up and investigate stories.

Most news comes from third party sources- news agencies and public relations companies- whether for business or governments. It's easier and cheaper to buy a ready made news story, no matter the source, as long as it sounds interesting. The PR sourced stories are actually free… So that's a massive incentive ;)

In fact, those stupid “scientific studies” you hear talked about on various news services that say women love chocolate more than sex, or men think about masturbation while water skiing or whatever are all bought from specialist public relations companies- what happens is that a company wanting to advertise a certain product contacts one of these agencies, they set their pet contract scientists to work designing a “study”, or they do a survey or something, then the PR company shops the resulting “interesting but true” “scientific” study around to TV news, newspapers and radio stations. When it gets aired or published, hopefully the product will get mentioned and the original company gets their advertising. lol!

-And to disclose my sources on this; lots of listening to the BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4, and Australia's Radio National. They all had a number of features on this subject, with plenty of interviews and investigation. Just goes to show that at least the quality of information on certain government funded services hasn't dropped. ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:30PM
timelike01 at 5:45AM, April 3, 2008
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Here's my stupid question of the moment: How will people learn about things they don't know about if their news sourse – be it for for-profit or non-profit – refuses to report on them? For example, if nuclear fusion energy – a high-yield nearly pollution-free power source – were perfected and news sources decided that such a thing isn't newsworthy, then how will people know about it? Am I to believe that the news sources believe their ratings and/or propaganda is more important that saving the Earth's environment?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
ozoneocean at 7:54AM, April 3, 2008
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Here's something very interesting. You can check out the journalist point of view here:
http://angryjournalist.com
-don't add your comments there unless you're a journalist yourself.

As to your question: When that industry puts out a PR release ^_^

 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:30PM
SpANG at 12:19PM, April 3, 2008
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One of the worst things is that there is absolutely no investigative reporting. “News” is now a combined “heresay”, “hype”, and “opinion”. I can't remember the last time news companies actually CHECKED on something first.

CNN even has a section of news entitled “NEWS TO ME” in which they don't have to do ANY work. You write and produce your own news, and they broadcast it. And they make it seem like a good thing. Now, I am for people expressing their views, but there is a time and place for it. The national news should not be the time/place.

The other thing I've noticed on these “news” channels is the alarming trend of news anchors and reporters reporting the news in an “opinionated” manner, and I don't think that's a good thing either. Because basically, the news reporter is telling the viewer how to feel about something.

But it ain't called programming for nothing.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:53PM
cartoonprofessor at 11:29PM, April 5, 2008
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Something I read years back in a great book called, “Four arguments for the banning of television”,

The Tv was invented in 1927 but no-one had a real use for it until after WWII when America's economy was threatened with meltdown with all the returning servicemen and a thriving ‘production’ economy that had no more need to produce what they were producing, tanks and guns.

The lads worked out that they needed to produce ‘things’ for people to buy, but people only need one lawnmower or fridge… so they realised, in order to save the economy (their personal economy at any rate) they needed to convince the public to regularly ‘upgrade’ every year or two… in other words, “Keep ‘em consuming”.

It was only then that some bright spark came up with the ultimate tool to sell this way of living… a device that had languished on the shelf since ’27!
A device that would bring the ‘sell’ into every household in America!

In short, television exists for one purpose, to create a permanent, ever-changing billboard that people will sit and watch day after day in their own homes.

I must say, having studied and worked in Television as a news camera-man, I agree wholeheartedly with the fact that the news is there for one thing, to create a space where people will be brought to the advertisers.

Watch any news show… how much is actually news, of any importance?

Why do we, as a species feel the need to be ‘kept-up-to-date’ with events that have next to no possibility of affecting our lives in any way?

But no, we have been successfully sold the biggest sell of all… the need to be ‘informed’ on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
Custard Trout at 9:23AM, April 6, 2008
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cartoonprofessor
Compelling argument, with extremely good point.

Thinking about it though, this could be changing with the popularity of streaming TV on the internet. Of course, the official ones also have advertisements, but who bothers with those?
Hey buddy, you should be a Russian Cosmonaut, and here's why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:00PM
cartoonprofessor at 6:23AM, April 7, 2008
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Oh yeah, I am very excited about the future… I will wait and see if it is for the better or worse…
maybe the unabomber was right?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
dueeast at 2:50PM, April 14, 2008
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I actually was going to be a journalist. I did 4 years of it in high school, won national awards, and studied it in college. It was an early dream of mine…

Ironically, my cartooning saved me from getting into that horrid existence. When I tried to submit a daily strip to the newspaper at the University of Texas, I saw how corrupt things were from the editor on down, even at the college level!

It wasn't so much about the rejection of the comic (of course that smarted, but I knew I'd get over that), it was the politics plus the hidden and not-so-hidden agendas at every level that disgusted me. I went into business administration instead, realizing then that journalism revolved around the mighty dollar just like so many other businesses.

Now I get paid to be a tech geek and I can still draw the comics I love! Not a bad trade for one moment of disappointment on the path to a career…
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
Hawk at 10:24AM, April 15, 2008
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Really, a college paper? It's sad that journalism can be ruined that early. And if it's corrupt at that level, what hope can we have of educating journalists to not be corrupt?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
Aussie_kid at 6:25AM, April 17, 2008
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Custard Trout
The problem with news programmes is that they are a form of media, they can only report the things their target demographic would find interesting, or they go out of business.

It isn't their job to deliver facts to you, it is their job to make money, just like every other job.

I find the best thing to do is read or watch several different news outlets, then compare and contrast the information from all of them to form your own estimations. Discussing them on forums or with friends is a good idea as well.

Yeah. A while back, there were these miners trapped in a collapsed shaft and were stuck down there for days. It was a huge story and was big news when they finally got out. A week or so later, the commercial stations were follwoing them around and having stories about how they were doing. Then, ABC News (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation) had a story, but it was about how the commercial stations were pestering the miners, who just wanted to be left alone.

Then, several months ago, there was an episode of the show called The Chaser's War on Everything where one of them wrote a song about how after people died, everyone said nice things about them. Steve Irwin, John Lennon and not even Princess Di were safe from him. Many stations reported the phonle lines being lit up with complaints about the song, when in fact there were only six callers and most of them said they loved it.

There are many sides to each story. It's best to investigate them all.
Insanity Complex: We may not be insane, but we like to think we are
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:11AM
kyupol at 6:43AM, April 17, 2008
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The news reports where the money is.

Cmon. If I'm an evil man for instance and you are on my payroll and enjoying a good life. Will you expose me? Or would you just do as I say?
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
bobhhh at 7:49AM, April 17, 2008
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Screw the news media. If they had done their job we wouldn't have gone to war in Iraq. They totally sucked Bush's dick with their “imbedded” or as I like to say “in bed with” journalists. It was a big propaganda campaign and no one had the balls to question why we were over there in the first place.

Where were Woodward and Bernstein when we needed them?
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:30AM

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