Survey: 69 Percent Think News Is Biased

A new survey reports that 69 percent of Americans think the news media do not report "all sides of a story," whatever that means. I'll interpret it to mean that the American public sees right through the fa�ade of objectivity and knows that reporters are human beings with points of view and these inevitably make it into news reports.

Other interesting highlights:

Fox News and CNN tied for first as the "most trusted specific news sources mentioned without prompting"

"Americans (87%) are second only to Germans in preferring to check several sources of news rather than rely on just one � something that is correlated with the use of Internet news sources" (I guess we're figuring out how to get "all sides of a story")

When asked how much they trust specific news sources, Americans give the lowest ratings to blogs (25%).

On that last point: Of course blogs overall will get lower trust ratings than newspapers or television. But blogs are still relatively new on the information scene. Mainstream news organizations are adding blogs to their Web sites all the time and, as we saw in the cases of Ben Domenech and Michael Hitzlik, aggressively applying traditional ethical standards to those blogs. I think those blogs, if taken out of the sample, would rate higher than blogs overall.

Independent blogs will have to work hard to gain the same level of trust as mainstream media outlets, but some have already equaled or even surpassed their rivals in terms of the trust they've earned. Michael Yon comes to mind.

And here's where things converge: One way Michael Yon has built up a store of trust in his reporting is that he never pretended to be "objective" in the sense that traditional news organizations do. What I mean by that is not that he reports as a "conservative" or "liberal" � he reports as an American, and as someone who badly wants to see us succeed over there. He doesn't try to hide his opinions or report the news like a robot. You know where he stands, and time and again he's delivered the bad news and the good.

If the mainstream media want to correct the sorry ratings on one-sidedness, accuracy and negativism that this survey reflected, they should be dropping the pretense of objectivity and developing more correspondents like Yon, Michael Totten and others who don't check their citizenship at the press room door.

No comments:

Post a Comment