Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Inherent Biases of the News Media

Five Inherent Biases of Professional Journalism
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i.e., The News Product from mostly Corporate-owned,
For-Profit, mainstream news outlets,
transmitted to the public via newspapers, and broadcast radio and television.

This list was taken mostly from the work of Robert McChesney.
(cf. critique of Professional Journalism, The Problem with the Media, Monthly Review Press, 2004)

Also recommend reading on this subject:
Ralph Nader, Ben Bagdikian, Noam Chomsky, Edward Hermann, Michael Parenti,

Remember, the "Professional Journalist" is a modern invention of the 20th Century.
Before that time, there was no such thing.

But the Official Reporter, the Professional Journalist was required
to meet the corporate agenda of media consolidation
and control of the emerging technology-enhanced mass media.

  1.  News should be CONTEXT-FREE:

    Avoid important details, subtly, and nuance.
    Rapid news cycle is the excuse.
    Intentional decontextualization may be the hidden goal.

    Informed consent is essential for empowered citizens living in a democracy.
    If the audience is kept mostly ignorant and confused about the facts,
    they(we) are more easily manipulated and exploited in various ways.
  2.  News should be EVENT-DRIVEN
    (a/k/a the "hook").

    Stories require a strong hook get covered.
    However, background story (subtle context) is omitted.

    Ralph Nader has said this is why the only thing we see on
    the news are people locked down, blocking the streets, or on strike,
    protesters being pepper-sprayed by police.

    But we never really learn the subtle context as to why they
    felt forced to take direct action.
  3. News should rely upon OFFICIAL SOURCES 

    Avoids the unpleasant voice of  Common Citizen,
    who might actually indict the abuses of power committed
    by our government and corporate rulers.
  4. News should Convery the Values of Business
    National Advertisers and Local Chambers of Commerce,
    the values of the Investors of the Corporate Owner of the "broadcast property",
    c) the values Board of Directors of the Corporate Owner

    d) and other connected companies

    This is never a stated goal, but certainly exists.

    For an amusing 7min. education about this, please see the hysterical "Silver Point Capital Twinkie Gold Reserve" by Dean Robinson: : http://youtu.be/G44-chbAJ2w 
  5. The GOAL of News is to appear to "cover both sides"
    and be "fair and balanced".

    This goal was introduced along with the modern invention of the
    Professional Journalist to get us to accept massive media consolidation.

    "It's OK!", we were told when one of the newspapers in the town merged with the other.
    "We have Professional Journalists with integrity and who are Fair and Balanced,
    and committed to covering Both Sides".

    This is a primary mechanism used to inject Corporate Public Relations into the news.
    When citizen truth rears its ugly head, we have to get a response from the other side!

    NOTE WELL: The goal of corporate news is NOT to cover the truth.

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