Author Topic: Editorial Opinion  (Read 5765 times)

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Offline Journeyman

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Editorial Opinion
« on: August 17, 2018, 10:04:32 »
Posted here and not with the Politics cartoons, because:

a) apparently comments cannot be made in the cartoon tread;

b) I believe discussion is required, as Canadian and especially US News is increasingly "WTF."



While dated, it covers the politicization of current news services perfectly.  Less and less can one find objective, informative news;  it's all about unabashedly biased cheerleading for 'your team.'  If anyone wants that, or needs talking points handed to them without having to think through events, there is no shortage of alt-left and alt-right sources out there.

Increasingly, if I want news about the US (and to a much lesser extent Canada, because most of the world simply doesn't care about us), I will turn to BBC and Al Jazeera first.

Now, while this is currently an irritant, I suspect that there will be a greater knock-on effect in that no one trusting the media lets governments, businesses, etc off the hook from valid and informed public scrutiny as society is increasingly dumbed down.  There's obviously no shortage of this happening here within the many, often locked 'discussions' on Trump/Obama, Trudeau/Harper, etc....with all the name-calling of politicians and posters, with a glaring absence of actual informed conversation.

I fear that the recent demands for "a free and honest press" are likely too late, as the political & media rhetoric is becoming increasingly globalized with more politicians and news outlets saying 'hey, it works there...'


Of course YMMV, but I fear our society is f**ked.    :2c:



Offline Lumber

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2018, 11:14:34 »
The Wallstreet Journal is pretty good to, IMO.

I still regular go to Fox News, purely for it's entertainment value.
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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2018, 11:20:20 »
The Wallstreet Journal is pretty good to, IMO.

The Economist isn't bad, and over its editorial history has fairly equitably supported both Republicans and Democrats of the day.

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2018, 11:28:18 »
Oh, there are no shortages of useful information sources;  IAW the meme, Fox, CNN, and MSNBC just happen to be the worst offenders at pandering to the lowest common denominator.

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2018, 11:30:41 »
I firmly believe this is a topic worthy of discussion, it cuts to a number of issues that we are seeing debated today.

In order for the conversation to be productive, it needs to be held to the same standards with regard to the various news agencies as we are holding posters to with regard to public figures in the political threads.

Thanks in advance.

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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2018, 11:51:21 »
I'm unaware of any point in my lifetime when a print or video news agency didn't have an editorial bias.  But.

Firstly, a hypothesis I have advanced here before: the increasing polarization and escalation of distasteful tactics is a consequence of the increasing size of the "prize" (power and scope of government).  Regulations and programs grow and only rarely shrink with each succeeding legislative term.

Once again, Polarization in American politics (Pew Research Center).  (Illustrates "what" - degree of polarization - but not "why".)

Secondly: in the internet era, the media are no longer gatekeepers and consequently can not shape public opinion as they were accustomed to.  They can not rely on time to blur memories and "disappear" evidence and views they'd rather not see refreshed because almost everything written prior can be (and is) easily referenced in any particular debate.  They can't easily move the Overton Window.  So they are frustrated; so they start taking short-cuts and resorting to unethical practices to make their points.

I don't know whether we should chiefly fault media or politicians.  It's clear that increasingly the media actively play offence/defence - incendiary headlines (often imposed by someone other than the article writer); burying inconvenient facts deep in an article or omitting them altogether (favourite example: blaming imminent inundation on sea level rise on the order of 2-3 mm per year, and later in the article commenting almost in passing on land subsidence on the order of several cm per year due to poor water table management); "talking-points journalism" masquerading as "explanatory journalism" ("All You Need to Know About X"; "X, Explained"; "The 10 Most Important Things About X"; etc).

On a handful of important issues, media have damaged their credibility by resorting to the "fake-but-accurate" defence.

But there is also the political manoeuvring to "sell" policies and legislation.  The deceptions and deals to pass the PPACA in the US were ugly, as were the press manipulations supporting the Iran deal.  Then later a couple of the principals admitted to relying on the gullibility of the public and the press.  I think Ben Rhodes's bragging about press manipulation did more damage to the institution than any number of Trump's ham-fisted insults/attacks.  A few times, journalists were caught soliciting the approval of political operatives prior to publishing: more damage to credibility.

The Society of Professional Journalists (US) has a Code of Ethics.  Journalists would have to start by strongly following the Code to reassert their usefulness.  They can not only be 90% or 95% compliant: "Your denial of the importance of objectivity amounts to announcing your intention to lie to us. No-one should believe anything you say." - John McCarthy.
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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2018, 16:45:23 »
I think to call this a media issue in the general sense is wrong.

There has been a split within the media-often within a single company-of presenting either hard news, opinion pieces (called opinion-tainment) or a combination of the two.

I find that I can still get good hard news from such US sources as ABC News and CBS News and even CNN. Fox and MNBC muddy the water entirely too much and it's harder to glean facts from the mush.

I'm not sure if the press was ever pure. When you read articles from the Revolutionary War or the Civil War you find things that will make you cringe with how inaccurate, partisan and highly loaded with misinformation they were.

There has always been and always will be a need for readers to use common sense when reading a news article. While there has been a gatekeeping function in the past to keep the press honest through the National NewsMedia Council in Canada and the FCC for broadcast journalism, those agencies are weak and have no jurisdiction over much of what passes for journalism or opinion pieces these days.

Trouble is that teaching healthy skepticism isn't one of the subjects taught to our children in school (and I sometimes wonder if it should be because it would probably lead to even more conspiracy theorists)

Hate to bring up an old bug-bear of mine but I think religion plays a large part in creating the polarizing differences between us and the tendency to believe opinion pieces that have little basis in fact or reality. When one unhesitatingly accepts "faith" in a dogma that cannot be logically proven (and often has considerable evidence to disprove it) then one becomes susceptible to other ideas, regardless of how logical or illogical they are, as long as they are disseminated by a "trusted" source.

These last few decades have created an explosion of media channels that are unregulated, ill informed and sometimes destructive (Goop or Kardashians anyone?). We'll never get the genie back in the lamp. It's a massive flaw within the concept of democracy as we know it. At best we can try to restrict outside influences but we'll never be able to bring back a feeling of unity unless we are faced with an external threat so massive that everyone can agree to oppose it. Apparently Russians hacking your political parties and causing mass misinformation campaigns isn't a big enough problem.

 :pop:
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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2018, 17:09:49 »
I don't think that bias is as much the problem. I think that the real problem is that many of the major players attempt to wrap themselves in the cloak of impartiality, when nothing could be further from the truth. People can accept bias when it's stated up front, but once trust is lost, it's generally lost forever. This is were the MSM is losing their way.
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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2018, 17:20:46 »
That's exactly why my idea of intellectual luxury these days is reading the Economist on my back deck, with a good Real Ale in hand :) #camrakarma
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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2018, 17:34:20 »
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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2018, 17:40:04 »
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Offline RomeoJuliet

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2018, 17:46:00 »
That's exactly why my idea of intellectual luxury these days is reading the Economist on my back deck, with a good Real Ale in hand :) #camrakarma
This, we agree on as I just did this exact thing on the weekend.


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Offline Xylric

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2018, 19:54:33 »
I think to call this a media issue in the general sense is wrong.

There has been a split within the media-often within a single company-of presenting either hard news, opinion pieces (called opinion-tainment) or a combination of the two.

I find that I can still get good hard news from such US sources as ABC News and CBS News and even CNN. Fox and MNBC muddy the water entirely too much and it's harder to glean facts from the mush.

I'm not sure if the press was ever pure. When you read articles from the Revolutionary War or the Civil War you find things that will make you cringe with how inaccurate, partisan and highly loaded with misinformation they were.

There has always been and always will be a need for readers to use common sense when reading a news article. While there has been a gatekeeping function in the past to keep the press honest through the National NewsMedia Council in Canada and the FCC for broadcast journalism, those agencies are weak and have no jurisdiction over much of what passes for journalism or opinion pieces these days.

Trouble is that teaching healthy skepticism isn't one of the subjects taught to our children in school (and I sometimes wonder if it should be because it would probably lead to even more conspiracy theorists)

Hate to bring up an old bug-bear of mine but I think religion plays a large part in creating the polarizing differences between us and the tendency to believe opinion pieces that have little basis in fact or reality. When one unhesitatingly accepts "faith" in a dogma that cannot be logically proven (and often has considerable evidence to disprove it) then one becomes susceptible to other ideas, regardless of how logical or illogical they are, as long as they are disseminated by a "trusted" source.

These last few decades have created an explosion of media channels that are unregulated, ill informed and sometimes destructive (Goop or Kardashians anyone?). We'll never get the genie back in the lamp. It's a massive flaw within the concept of democracy as we know it. At best we can try to restrict outside influences but we'll never be able to bring back a feeling of unity unless we are faced with an external threat so massive that everyone can agree to oppose it. Apparently Russians hacking your political parties and causing mass misinformation campaigns isn't a big enough problem.

 :pop:

It's interesting to me that while I have substantial ground to quibble with you over the definition, consequences, and function of religion, you are not entirely wrong about it being inherently polarizing. After all, one of the earliest functions of religious belief (going back to the pre-Abrahamic traditions) was to foster a communal sense of identity and purpose. One could argue that what we now call identity politics is a mutation of something we've had with us since before we learned how to make pottery.

I agree that there are a number of good hard news sources remaining in the US, but I find that it's still beneficial to pay attention to the more biased sources. If you do not know how those you disagree with understand the same events, you quickly lose track of many other things about them. There's a reason why when I pay attention to political commentary, I'm very careful to maintain a 2:1 ration in favour of the perspectives I disagree with. Interestingly enough, who falls on what side depends on the particular subject, as it should be.

YouTube has created a tremendous change in the observed rules of this theatre, but it certainly doesn't take away from the need for both healthy skepticism and rhetoric in schools. I"m horrified to realize that what I learned about persuasive communication in high school was not at all accurate when compared to what I learned in college. There are five generations of teachers in my family, and having looked at what my great-grandmother taught her student 80 years ago, there is absolutely no question in my mind that we've stripped away far too much of what students truly need to know.

A joke from my marketing program was that the reason why advertising exploded across every form in media after WWII was that everyone who worked in psychological warfare would've been out of a job otherwise. I don't rightly know how true that is, but it's uncomfortably reasonable.

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2018, 08:36:51 »
People are not being "dumbed down" by their news outlet of choice. But they are becoming more intolerant. There is more than one way to look at things, there is no absolute black and white.
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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2018, 09:41:08 »
People are not being "dumbed down" by their news outlet of choice.
Look at the chart provided by Infanteer;  Fox 'News' falls into the rectangle labelled "nonsense damaging to public discourse."  If Fox is someone's only, or even primary, source of news, how can it not be dumbing?

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2018, 12:54:44 »
The chart is not authoritative, and disproves its own reliability.  It shows Daily Kos "above" Fox News, which is absurd.  Media bias estimates, like "fact checks", should be taken with a large grain of salt.

Using the Pew survey results I linked earlier, you can apply your own judgement/correction to the chart.

1) The survey shows an increase over time in the polarization gap between the median Democrat frame of reference ("D") and the median Republican frame of reference ("R").

2) The evaluation of "neutral" depends on frame of reference, and one of the frames has a much greater "velocity".  From D, it looks like Republicans are becoming more extreme.  From R, it looks like Democrats are becoming more extreme.  From the survey animation, it is clear that the net shift is overwhelmingly due to the movement of D leftward.  Furthermore, if Republicans (conservatives) were truly becoming more extreme (commonly cited myth among left-leaners), it prompts the question "compared to what/when"?  Are Republicans more conservative now than during the Reagan era?  The Eisenhower era?  Common sense suggests that on a host of issues (tolerance of divorce, acceptance of single parent and other non-traditional families, acceptance of homosexuals open in public life, tolerance of other cultures, publicly-funded health insurance/care, etc), conservatives are also moving leftward over the long term.

3) X-axis: The chart's x-axis assignments are not static.  Because of the increasing polarization gap, an information source anchored to the political centre would, over time, be perceived as rightward drifting seen from D, and leftward drifting seen from R.  If complaints about the perceived bias of a source are one-sided, it suggests the source is moving along with whichever frame (D or R) tends to think the source is "neutral".  NPR, WaPo, NYT, and Guardian are examples of sources which have long been accused by the right of left-leaning bias which should properly have them positioned well into the "skews liberal" zone.  The handful of times I have read of an organization like NYT being accused of leaning right, it has been from someone occupying a position well to the political left (way out past Sanders Democrats).

4) Y-Axis: The categories rated as "Complex Analysis" or "Analysis" deserve to be positioned above "Fact Reporting" and "Original Fact Reporting".  Analysis - even partisan analysis - is more accurate (more time to assess events and sift evidence; more deliberative and less reactive to immediate events).  Importantly, the writers for "analysis" organizations spend a fair amount of time responding to each other, highlighting errors and omissions.  I don't find the wire services and major "fact" media all that reliable when it comes to accurately reporting "facts", and most act as information gatekeepers, which militates against their being slotted in the "neutral" column.  (You can see it when organizations on one "side" are seized with an issue of the day, and barely a peep emits from organizations on the other "side".)  Broadcast media convey almost no useful information at all in the time available; I find them to be a waste of time. 

YMMV.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2018, 14:47:17 »
Look at the chart provided by Infanteer;  Fox 'News' falls into the rectangle labelled "nonsense damaging to public discourse."  If Fox is someone's only, or even primary, source of news, how can it not be dumbing?

I believed the chart was flawed, but Brad layed it out. So if one is basing their opinion on flawed data, does that not make the opinion flawed also?

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2018, 14:53:55 »
I believed the chart was flawed, but Brad layed it out. So if one is basing their opinion on flawed data, does that not make the opinion flawed also?

Asking for a friend. ;)

No. 

It makes it...well, still an opinion.  After all, an opinion is "A view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge." (Ref: Oxford Dictionary - 'Opinion')

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2018, 14:55:52 »
There are several factors affecting journalism, the loss of ad revenue drive most of them. Small staff, meaning less research, the loss of inhouse archives, shorter deadlines. Individuals not comprehending that they have a bias and a general drifting to the left of centre by most news staff. This is a major issue, not so much the bias, but the inability to comprehend that it exists, yet a belief they are being impartial. That drives the loss of respect and trust. Fox is generally aware they are right of centre and don't hide it, making them a bit higher on the honesty scale, they to suffer from structural issues as well. Part of the problem today is not finding information, but being able to shift through all of it in time to meet the deadline and be able to detect misinformation. Even a diligent reporter holds little sway over their editor, who can change the thrust of an article to fit space available and make it more marketable. At the end of the day, media is a business and bringing in revenue is the primary goal.

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2018, 15:52:58 »
No. 

It makes it...well, still an opinion.  After all, an opinion is "A view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge." (Ref: Oxford Dictionary - 'Opinion')

Ergo, personal opinion on a subject is an acceptable form of discourse to use during a discussion.
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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2018, 18:14:14 »
I have said, too many times perhaps, that I expect the media to be biased ... how can it not be? It is the creation of human beings and we, each of us, has a whole hockey sock full of opinions and prejudices and so on.

I like it best when, as in e.g. The Economist and the Financial Times and, yes, the Toronto Star, the bias is up front and stated ... I understand, for example, the Star's 'Atkinson Principles' and I am not shocked when it tries to live up to them.

I wish TV news had named, publicized editors and publishers like the printed broadsheets, tabloids and news magazines do and I wish we had more proprietors like Conrad Black who were not shy about announcing (and enforcing) their biases.

Good newspapers (and good TV news ~ what's left of it) try to ensure that they present "contrary" views ~ contrary to the proprietor's/publisher's point of view ~ it's the balance thing and they do it because it keeps them on the ball. Poor newspapers and most TV outlets allow, even encourage "shouting matches" between partisans of different views, but they are rarely informative.

I take ALL media with a grain of salt ... I subscribe to one Canadian newspaper, two global ones (one daily, one weekly) and one regional (Hong Kong) one, all of which have biases that I think (I hope) I understand.
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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2018, 23:17:19 »
The chart is not authoritative, and disproves its own reliability.

Of course the chart is not authoritative.  I said it was useful, not that it was "The TruthTM".  It puts everything on a fair attempt at a spectrum and gives one a starting point to start asking the two most important questions any reader can ask after reading something - "Who is the person [or what is the organization] that wrote this?" and "Why are they saying what they are saying?"
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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2018, 08:52:41 »
….gives one a starting point to start asking the two most important questions any reader can ask after reading something - "Who is the person [or what is the organization] that wrote this?" and "Why are they saying what they are saying?"
Presuming that the reader cares any deeper than, "this reaffirms what I already believe, hence why I need no other news sources."

 
As for any claim of the media bias chart itself being authoritative, I concur with Infanteer that it cannot be.  I also acknowledge the results of Pew Research's "Polarization in American politics," in that there is an undeniable left- or right-Point of View in how we are predisposed to see events.  This shouldn't negate thinking through the potential biases to get a more complete understanding of issues, or how others may see them.

The creator of the chart provides a very useful explanatory tool in one of the  sidebar articles, "An Exercise for Bias Detection," that gives more clarity into her methodology:

- Select a big political story, so nearly everyone covered it (easier to compare bias when sources are covering the same story).
- The underlying story is fact-dense, meaning that a lot of stories about it are long:
      - As a result, it is easier to tell when an article is omitting facts.
      - It is also easier to compare how even highly factual stories characterize particular facts creating a partisan lean.
- Where both long and short versions exist, comparison shows facts that are omitted in framing the issues one way or another.
[There's more in the article]


So while the bias chart may not be iron-clad, it is  an ongoing work in progress (I'm looking forward to her refining views on al-Jazeera for it's re-inclusion, since it's one of my international news 'go-to' sites), which provides some utility for those willing to consider it.

Offline Baden Guy

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2018, 09:27:23 »
I occasionally switch over to Fox News to have my interpretation of the news be challenged.
Always an education to see how an event comes out after going through the Fox filter.  ;)

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2018, 10:42:24 »
I occasionally switch over to Fox News to have my interpretation of the news be challenged.
Always an education to see how an event comes out after going through the Fox filter.  ;)

I occasionally switch over to CNN to have my interpretation of the news be challenged.
Always an education to see how an event comes out after going through the CNN filter.  ;)
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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2018, 10:49:13 »
I occasionally switch over to CNN to have my interpretation of the news be challenged.
Always an education to see how an event comes out after going through the CNN filter.  ;)

Yes; it's amazing what news looks like when they use actual facts!   :pop:


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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2018, 10:57:28 »
Yes; it's amazing what news looks like when they use actual facts!   :pop:

Oh yes. CNN is the epitome of factual news reporting. ::) and Jim Acosta is their Walter Cronkite. :rofl:
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Offline mariomike

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2018, 11:15:39 »
I occasionally switch over to Fox News to have my interpretation of the news be challenged.
Always an education to see how an event comes out after going through the Fox filter.  ;)

He says the others are "Fake News",

"So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC? What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? They are all Fake News!"
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/879682547235651584?lang=en

"The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!"
https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/832708293516632065?lang=en
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 11:26:28 by mariomike »

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2018, 11:56:31 »
I occasionally switch over to CNN to have my interpretation of the news be challenged.
Always an education to see how an event comes out after going through the CNN filter.  ;)

Crazy talk!  Two people amongst billions on the planet having differing views?

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2018, 12:22:11 »
Crazy talk!  Two people amongst billions on the planet having differing views?

Here's a good and cheerful quote for military people:

“everything is ridiculous if one thinks of death”

― Thomas Bernhard

:)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2018, 12:55:36 »
I occasionally switch over to Fox News to have my interpretation of the news be challenged.
Always an education to see how an event comes out after going through the Fox filter.  ;)

I occasionally switch over to CNN to have my interpretation of the news be challenged.
Always an education to see how an event comes out after going through the CNN filter.  ;)

Both are below the "overall quality" line of the chart presented in the link I put up, so neither is really worth the time.  Too much effort to wade through the infotainment to get to the actual news.  One doesn't even need to look at the chart to realize this, as CNN and FOX websites now look like the front page of a National Enquirer that's sitting in the grocery store.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2018, 13:27:18 »
Both are below the "overall quality" line of the chart presented in the link I put up, so neither is really worth the time.  Too much effort to wade through the infotainment to get to the actual news.  One doesn't even need to look at the chart to realize this, as CNN and FOX websites now look like the front page of a National Enquirer that's sitting in the grocery store.

The accuracy of the chart has been called into question though. So that's no indicator either. I'm not in complete disagreement. All outlets show some bias, that I can live with as we always have, but it's become much more vocal and nasty though. If they attacked both sides equally, maybe. However, many of them have gone completely off one side or the other. I find watching the press briefings for accuracy of reporting a decent indicator. You can tell there's journalists' there that are serious with their questions and polite in their interactions. Then there's the usual suspects that yell questions out of turn, argue with the messenger, won't follow direction hogging someone else's time. and make things especially difficult for the true news outlets to get their story. I find if they are assholes and idiots in there, their outlets are the same boorish idiots that do the same in print or media. I just want accurate statement of facts. I don't care who provides them.
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Offline mariomike

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2018, 13:57:28 »
Both are below the "overall quality" line of the chart presented in the link I put up, so neither is really worth the time

http://www.adfontesmedia.com/media-bias-chart-3-1-minor-updates-based-constructive-feedback/

Using the "Lesser of two evils principle" - for the effect they may have on viewers of either one, or both - it's interesting to compare the two in the link you put up,

« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 14:00:03 by mariomike »

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2018, 14:04:58 »
The accuracy of the chart has been called into question though. So that's no indicator either. I'm not in complete disagreement. All outlets show some bias, that I can live with as we always have, but it's become much more vocal and nasty though.

Don't discard the value of the chart off-hand just because you're not sure of the methodology.  As I said, its a tool - use it and verify it.  In the case of my comments, its quite easy to do.  It's not the news bias that I care about, its the quality.  As Edward indicated, bias is present in everyone and every organization, and its possible for agencies with a bias to present quality news.  I don't care what CNN or FOX's bias is.  However, the quality of their journalism has reached a fever pitch.  I just cruised to FOX to see their front page.  "Brennan 'Did Damage', "Brennan is one of the Biggest Frauds in the History of America: Giuliani" and "Special ops shoot down Brennan and his defenders: 'You put your politics before us.'"  Checked CNN as well.  "The President's Red Scare," "Michael Hayden says he, too, would be honored if Trump revoked his security clearance," and "Rudy Giuliani: Truth isn't truth."

Now, I went to BBCs front page.  "Mueller inquiry: White House lawyer McGahn co-operating with probe," "Kerala floods: Rescue efforts step up as rains begin to ease," and "Cyprus extradites EgyptAir hijacker."  The difference between the infotainment and the news is quite easy to see.  The chart is accurate in where it puts CNN, FOX, and the BBC.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 14:15:13 by Infanteer »
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2018, 17:13:41 »
My personal "go to" is Instapundit, since it chooses to post articles from across the political spectrum, as well as from a multitude of different nations. Reading about the same subject from Haaretz, The Guardian, USA Today and the Washington Post (for example) provides that wide angle view people should cultivate.

Now like everything else, this is not a 100% solution. Being an American blog, it is often difficult to find new about Canada, and of course many news items are simply not covered by all sources. Glenn Reynolds and his band of pirates also have their own biases as well.

A "Canadapundit" all source news blog would be an interesting and useful addition to the blogosphere, and a place people could cultivate the "wide angle" view.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2018, 18:15:17 »
We are fortunate that, in general, Canada does not experience the degree of polarization that the US does.  A guess: it's because we have a parliament and use FPTP to decide elections.  A faction that can command roughly 40% of the popular vote can win a majority and execute its will without the gridlock of the US system (unity between the legislative branch and the executive branch, irrespective of the quirk of who is head of state).  Because most people can experience "their team" running things for a few years, every few years, with anything egregious done by one parliament easily overturned (unless it clearly has broad public support) by a succeeding parliament, electoral defeats and intervals out of power are not perceived as the end of the world.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline Remius

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2018, 19:07:27 »
If anybody wants another guide.


https://mediabiasfactcheck.com
Optio

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2018, 21:20:31 »
Not that one.   It turns out to be just some guy's private project.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2018, 06:12:04 »
Not that one.   It turns out to be just some guy's private project.

All those tools are "just some guy's [or gal's] private project" ... but so, in almost every case, are almost all the media outlets of all types, even the BBC and CBC, including the venerable Spectator (established in 1711) and Fox News and iPolitics, also just "some guy's private projects" ~ the CBC was, largely, the creation "private project" of Graham Spry and The Times was the "private project" of John Walter back in 1785.

The whole thing is just a series of "private projects," some taken public, in the sense of being funded by government, most taken public in the sense of being (or belonging to) publicly traded corporations and a few remaining in private hands.

Sorry ... bit of a rant, but I think we give the media both too much and to little credit (and blame) for what it does and for what it fails to do, too.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Journeyman

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2018, 08:47:39 »
I get a feeling that the behaviour of the news media, and their targeted audiences, is illustrated well in this thread. 

We got almost a whole page of rational discussion -- with no one 'side' being overbearing -- before it devolved (inevitably?) into " 'Network A sucks.'  'Oh ya? Network B sucks')."

Again, merely a hunch, but I feel that those who were actually contributing to the debate would tend to be drawn more to the chart's upper-rated sources,* whereas those whose one-liners contribute very limited value feel quite at home with those sources that habitually draw name-calling from 'the other side.' 

Again,  :2c:


* Using: a)  the chart author's assessment, and b)  considering only the y-axis (overall quality) here;  x-axis (partisan bias) isn't a factor in this observation.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #40 on: August 20, 2018, 12:53:13 »
The bottom line for me is a simple question: what sort of person would want to outsource his critical thinking to some person or organization with an unknown agenda?  It's not hard to distinguish fever swamps from reputable sources, or to detect bias, or to evaluate whether a journalist is knowledgeable about the subject or is one of Ben Rhodes's "average reporters"*.

The interesting thing about these metadata sources is that they essentially act like information gatekeepers. 

*"The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing."
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2018, 14:16:05 »
>The whole thing is just a series of "private projects,"

What I mean is the difference between "some guy" operating out of his house with the occasional assistance of a handful of unpaid contributors, and a (hypothetical) organization with a few hundred employees devoted full-time to analyzing the (voluminous) content produced every day by 50 to 100 major media organizations.  The former isn't credible.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2018, 14:37:00 »
When it comes to news that is about "heated" topics I prefer to read a news source that has some distance from the topic. A perfect example for me is when I want news about America I'll go to the BBC, the BBC has less incentive to play to any particular market in America. When I want something even more distant I'll read the Straits Times, or Australian news.


Offline MCG

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #43 on: August 20, 2018, 15:03:48 »
We are fortunate that, in general, Canada does not experience the degree of polarization that the US does.  A guess: it's because we have a parliament and use FPTP to decide elections.  A faction that can command roughly 40% of the popular vote can win a majority and execute its will without the gridlock of the US system (unity between the legislative branch and the executive branch, irrespective of the quirk of who is head of state).  Because most people can experience "their team" running things for a few years, every few years, with anything egregious done by one parliament easily overturned (unless it clearly has broad public support) by a succeeding parliament, electoral defeats and intervals out of power are not perceived as the end of the world.
The US also uses FPTP to decide elections. I would argue that, contrary to your theory, it is an aggravating (if not driving) factor in polarization because to partisans (who see it as a competition between teams into which everyone can be neatly sorted) it is an all-in win or loose competition, and once your are down to just two or three "big tent parties" it becomes far easier for those parties to fight the divisive wedge issues than to attempt broad appeal to the population.

... but this is probably a discussion for a different thread.

Offline FJAG

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #44 on: August 20, 2018, 19:24:27 »
A former insider's view of Fox News

Quote
Former Fox analyst Ralph Peters: Fox viewers have 'utterly skewed view of reality'

CNN by Brian Stelter  @brianstelter  August 20, 2018: 2:57 PM ET

Many people believe, as Ralph Peters does, that President Trump was a "gift to Fox," and "Fox in turn is a gift to Trump."

The difference is that Peters worked at Fox News for years.

Peters, a retired US Army lieutenant colonel, was a Fox military analyst until March, when he resigned and burned the proverbial bridge. In a letter to his colleagues, he accused Fox of "assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law."

Peters' statements shocked the TV news industry at the time.

On CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday, he had more to say. "People that only listen to Fox have an utterly skewed view of reality," he said. He described the relationship between the president and his favored news network as a "closed loop," but that was hardly Peters' most strident critique of his former employer.

"Fox isn't immoral, it's amoral," he said. Later in the interview, when Reliable Sources aired clips that show Fox News hosts defending Trump's decision to strip former CIA director John Brennan's security clearance, Peters was asked if he thought his colleagues at Fox are "proud of their performance."

"The polite word is 'prostitutes,' so I'll just leave it at that," Peters fired back.

. . .

See rest of article here:

https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/20/media/ralph-peters-president-trump-fox-news/index.html

 [cheers]
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #45 on: August 20, 2018, 19:30:37 »
A former insider's view of Fox News

See rest of article here:

https://money.cnn.com/2018/08/20/media/ralph-peters-president-trump-fox-news/index.html

 [cheers]

You could probably say the same about the CBC, except it's bias is heavily skewed to the Left.... and it's fully funded by taxpayers.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline mariomike

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #46 on: August 20, 2018, 19:51:42 »
If Fox is someone's only, or even primary, source of news, how can it not be dumbing?

Fox may be all some can afford.

I'm with Bell Fibe TV.

The "Starter" package has Fox.

But, if you want to upgrade to CBC News Network, CTV News Channel, BBC World News, BBC Canada or CNN, etc. you have to pay a premium.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 19:55:29 by mariomike »

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #47 on: August 20, 2018, 20:00:16 »
Fox may be all some can afford.

I'm with Bell Fibe TV.

The "Starter" package has Fox.

But, if you want to upgrade to CBC News Network, CTV News Channel, BBC World News, BBC Canada or CNN, etc. you have to pay a premium.

You get Fox because its the channel Fox, not Fox News. Fox News is a premium news service like the ones you listed. A better comparison is Fox is in the starter package along with CBC, Global, City, CTV, CBS, and NBC, all of whom have nightly and 6 PM news coverage to vary your prospectives.

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #48 on: August 20, 2018, 20:08:14 »
You could probably say the same about the CBC, except it's bias is heavily skewed to the Left.... and it's fully funded by taxpayers.

I could and I do.

My latest rant against the CBC is that while it shows The Great British Baking Show it cuts out the "Technical Challenge"--the middle of three challenges in each episode--to make room for all the bloody commercials. In the UK and on PBS it's a commercial free 1 hour show. Yet the tag line on the CBC website is "Bakers attempt three challenges ...".   :pullhair: I have to go to CBC's web site in order to watch the missing part.

Absolute sacrilege and rubbish. Someone should hang. I expect more for my precious tax dollars.

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 20:19:08 by FJAG »
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Offline mariomike

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #49 on: August 20, 2018, 20:17:21 »
You get Fox because its the channel Fox, not Fox News. Fox News is a premium news service like the ones you listed. A better comparison is Fox is in the starter package along with CBC, Global, City, CTV, CBS, and NBC, all of whom have nightly and 6 PM news coverage to vary your prospectives.

My mistake. You are right.

Fox News Channel #507.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2018, 08:48:25 by mariomike »

Offline Xylric

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #50 on: August 21, 2018, 13:31:29 »
It's interesting that the best source of news I have is people who are currently enrolled in a journalism program - they have yet to be infected with some of the various ideological plagues going around...

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #51 on: August 23, 2018, 10:00:29 »
It's interesting that the best source of news I have is people who are currently enrolled in a journalism program - they have yet to be infected with some of the various ideological plagues going around...

Ahh yes, the ones who still have hope in their eyes!

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #52 on: August 26, 2018, 02:38:39 »
CNN-Breathless reporting, the pace of their reporting compared to BBC is like the Bersaglieri vs a Highland unit

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #53 on: August 26, 2018, 11:33:05 »
CNN-Breathless reporting, the pace of their reporting compared to BBC is like the Bersaglieri vs a Highland unit

'You can get away with a lot as long as you wear a suit.' Gordon Gecko ;)
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #54 on: August 26, 2018, 14:50:43 »
JM,

As your post and subsequent conversation didn't add anything topical to the thread, it was removed. It is stored in the Grave if it needs further consideration or reposting.

Cheers
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What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #55 on: August 26, 2018, 17:44:03 »
Almost a decade ago, this very topic generated a lot of discussion on the Officer Indoctrination course I attended at CMR, as part of the syllabus on media relations for CFR types

At one point we hosted two news producers, one from CBC the other from CTV.

The one from the CBC focused on the production of documentaries, and how they tend to go a bit more in depth than a typical news bite, but consequently some subjectivity inevitably creeps into the analysis.

The CTV producer, on the other hand, covered the production of typical half hour news presentation during a peak TV time (6 and 11). One of her comments that stood out was that, in the end, the entire presentation is framed in a way to appeal to certain demographics, in order to hold their attention to get to a particular sequence of commercials. The lead news, usually, was unavoidable, and much as time allowed was factual, in her view, as can be at the time. It is the later stories that tended to be tweaked more. It was also her view that news pieces are so short they can only really make people aware of the story, and if someone really wants to know what is going on they'll need to read, yes read, several articles on it, and a few books too. Something she acknowledged people are less and less likely to do.

By and large we found the CTv producer to be more honest about what they're trying to do, and the CBC guy was pretty self righteous about them being independent and more likely to provide an unbiased view of major events. Near the end of his presentation though, he gave an example of news covering a military blunder,  the USS Vincennes shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655 in July 1988. He thought the news article he used was fair in its presentation of known facts, on what was an egregious mistake no matter how you look at it. There were some Navy pers in the audience who happened to be in the audience, however, who had been on a frigate in the same area. They pointed out some glaring omissions in the article. To which the CBC producer responded, time is always a constraint when presenting a story, and the news piece he was using was from the time it occurred. Much like what the CTV producer was getting at, he also noted people are far too impatient to go into much depth, or follow a story up unless it directly affects them.

I'd say that's even more true now, with people getting (reaffirming) their understanding of events via meme's and comments on social media.

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #56 on: August 27, 2018, 17:14:01 »
One TV station in Vancouver was so bad for editing interviews that our Commissioner refused to do anything but live on the air interviews with them. What I found in the 90's was; reporter on scene collects story, phones story in where it was transcribed. Story goes to Editor who modifies story for length, clarity and impact. During that process, many important details fall to the wayside or are changed. Typically now the reporter writes their own, submits and it goes through the editor checks.

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Re: Editorial Opinion
« Reply #57 on: August 28, 2018, 06:38:30 »
Quote
Fox News has repeatedly gone to former Justice Department official Robert Driscoll to comment on the Russia investigations, but what viewers don't hear is that he's also the attorney for Maria Butina, the suspected Russian spy charged with criminal counts.
Source