12 Feb Media bias: Where do you really get the credible news today?
Sometimes the only way to avoid media bias is to turn the channel or drop the subscription.
There has been so much discussion about media bias and the lack of journalistic integrity in the last election coverage that people are turning to alternative news sources, changing channels and logging on to the Internet.
There is actually a site where you can see the worst reporting of 2008 (http://www.mrc.org/notablequotables/bestof/2008/welcome.asp ). I’m surprised that this does not get more attention but then, why would the media want to draw more rage upon itself?
Many newspapers are also feeling the surge of people seeking out more objective opinions and reporting than what they have offered. People are turning to the Internet and other sources as some papers are on the verge of bankruptcy while others including the Chicago Tribune have already declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.
Relatively new sources like the Drudge Report (http://www.drudgereport.com ) have become a go-to source instead of the more traditional news outlets. People have more choices and are exercising those choices.
THE LACK OF CHICAGO MEDIA
It is really interesting when you can get more details and perspectives off of a BLOG than you can from the more traditional sources of the news. A great local example of this is the Second City Cop Blog (www.secondcitycop.blogspot.com). It provides a more realistic, although sometimes caustic, review of Chicago police, crime and city issues. It has broke more than one substantial story in the last year and the traditional media “experts” have had to play catch-up.
It is also interesting to see that some of the reporters in the major Chicago papers do not investigate anything anymore but just read the BLOG as a resource to get their story and details. That seems to be a fairly consistent complaint within the threads of this BLOG.
It is time for a revamping of the major Chicago media. If you talk with them, they would say they are doing an excellent job. In reality, they leave a lot to be desired.
CREDIBILITY IS NOT ON THE 6PM NEWS ANYMORE
It is interesting to note that people are not tuning into the standard “news programs” anymore. ABC, NBC, and CBS are all wondering what happened but many viewers are looking at cable news and all those expanded news coverage channels.
Do you even watch the local news anymore? I don’t. How much of it is actual news and how much is fluff? Out of thirty minutes, you have about six minutes of commercials, eight to ten minutes of sports, six to eight minutes of weather and about five minutes of real news with the rest dedicated to some special fluff tidbits like a health corner, recipes, cool gadget, smart pet or some other trite piece.
It is even worse with the national news with biased anchors who have lost credibility with some to the point that a good portion of viewers have now turned to the Daily Show on Comedy Central as their source for national news. Major news anchors have lost credibility with the average viewer.
So does that mean that Jon Stewart a “trusted name in Journalism”? According to a 2007 Pew Research Center’s study, he is. (http://pewresearch.org/pubs/829/the-daily-show-journalism-satire-or-just-laughs ) He tied for fourth with Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and Anderson Cooper.
The latest media credibility mistake was reporting the woman who swam the Atlantic (http://www.suntimes.com/news/world/1421055,w-jennifer-figge-swim-atlantic-ocean020909.article). She didn’t really swim what they claimed in most of the major media and as one skeptic in a comments section observed: (http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/beijing/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/The-great-Atlantic-Ocean-swimming-hoax?urn=oly,140525),
“ANOTHER great job of reporting! How many times in the past 10 years has some story gone over the wire without being checked out, just to get the “scoop”….? Do they actually have journalism schools anymore…..?”
There is a definite shift in where people get their news today and there are more sources that are biased in their reporting. With BLOGS, various video-based sites like YouTube and other social networking tools, the demise of the traditional news sources is here.
CARLINI-ISM: People want real answers from reliable sources, especially in today’s economy.
Recent columns by James Carlini
- James Carlini: Infrastructure stimulus packages, part two: Top 10 best practices
- James Carlini: Infrastructure stimulus packages: Best practices, Part I
- James Carlini: Stimulus package 2009: 21st Century infrastructure defined
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James Carlini will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Broadband Properties SUMMIT ’09 in Dallas, April 27th -29th discussing “Intelligent Infrastructure”.
This article previously appeared in MidwestBusiness.com, and was reprinted with its permission.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC.