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View Poll Results: Is the media bias?
Yes the media is super bias 54 62.79%
Yes the media is moderately bias 25 29.07%
Yes the media is just a little bias 3 3.49%
No the media is not bias at all 4 4.65%
Voters: 86. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll Is the media biased?
Old 08-20-2009, 03:45 AM   #1
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Poll Is the media biased?

I thought this would be a good one.

We all need to know what is going with at least some things in our world but I get pretty fed up with the sources of "news".

I watch very little "news" but I have a family member that I'm around a lot that watches it CONSTANTLY so I hear it like it or not.

It seems to me that watching the national news that the networks political agenda or whatever minority they favor is much more important than the news itself.

I remember a few years back that I could watch one channel and hear how great we were doing in the war and the other channel how bad we were doing!

I feel like a fool for even listening to this stuff. I feel like I'm just being brainwashed into thinking whatever they want me too!

My local news is the same way. They selectively cover just what they want.

I bought my parents another newspaper because it was cheaper so they could check it out and see if the like it.

Well they read both now. Some of the stories will be completely ignored in the one and a big story in the other.

I think the media is super bias and I get really sick of it.

I feel they sort of have a responsibility to tell you what is going on without distorting everything.

I would like to know what is going on without all the BS!

I just wanted to see if I'm alone on feeling this way about the news.



Jim
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:22 AM   #2
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The problem I have with this poll is the lack of definition of what "Media" is.

Local News on Television -- Yes, but it's not really "news" anyway. That's Entertainment or Op-Ed by the Anchors, I can't tell which. (And this is in every city.)

National News -- Too much Editorializing for me but overall each balances the others. (Well, maybe Fox and CNN are more biased than needed.)

Newspapers - Not so much but yeah.

Online sources - Of course. The good news is that the pendulum swings both ways and you can decide for yourself what is important and what is "spin."

Therefore, I was unable to vote.
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:56 AM   #3
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News sources and my exposure (or lack thereof):
TV - don't watch it except for science, history, weather or SciFi channels
Newspaper - don't get one
Online - visit a variety of sites and pick and choose
Radio - NPR all the way, 2nd choice behind online
This forum - read all of the linked articles
Newsletters by email - subscribe to 5 topical ones of narrow focus -investing (M*), federal govt (GovExec), retired military (Military.com), Savvy Senior (a compilation), and future health insurance coverage (TriCare bulletins).
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:20 AM   #4
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My view is that every single piece of information we come across is probably biased, including this post. News media is biased by the fact that they need advertising and/or subscriptions to survive. That leads to sensational stories over stories of significance that may not "grab" an audience. The info you get from your boss, co-workers, or employees is probably biased by the fact that they want to keep their job, or get a raise or promotion. Your Mother is biased by her love for you. It's everywhere, not just "the media". Why single them out?

People need to develop critical skills. Look at the content of the information. Is enough info provided to give a sense that it is balanced, are there references, are there signs of twisted logic (red herrings, ad hominem, straw man, etc)? Quoting an "expert" or 100 "experts" means nothing, you can generally find 1000 "experts" on either side of an issue.

They need to teach this in school. Well, at least they do in some college courses:

Fallacies

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Old 08-20-2009, 08:22 AM   #5
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I'm not sure if the media is biased, in agreement with previous commends on media breadth and lack of a more precise definition.

There is no doubt, however, that some news or news/entertainment sources have chosen to promote specific ideological or partisan views without acknowledging their choice.

Having seen and lived the consequences of partisan and intentionally non-objective media elsewhere, I can only lament this turn. When media takes sides, democracy loses.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:52 AM   #6
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Infotainment, and short on both...
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:09 AM   #7
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My bigger problem with media overall is that the Internet has small-d democratized it to the point where anyone can seek out a "news" source that does little more than reinforce their own way of thinking. Thus they are never forced to think critically about the issues or realize that many controversial issues would not be controversial unless there were intelligent and well-meaning people with good points on both sides of the debate. They aren't exposed to both sides of the issue the way the "mainstream" media historically tried to do (or at least pay lip service to). Many media outlets today don't even pretend to be objective any more.

But now there are so many outlets in "alternative media" that people can get filtered "news" and biased commentary which never makes them think out of their comfort zone and reinforces the belief that people who disagree with them are either stupid or malevolent. And then we wonder why people are so partisan and polarized these days.
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:07 PM   #8
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Old 08-20-2009, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny View Post
Think Fox News is very biased - though not sure they're part of the media.
I agree. Fox news is the only media outlet that i've noticed that is overtly biased. I'm sure others are in their own way but Fox News makes no effort to hide it.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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I agree. Fox news is the only media outlet that i've noticed that is overtly biased. I'm sure others are in their own way but Fox News makes no effort to hide it.
Yeah, CNN is like that, too, from what I've seen.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:29 PM   #11
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My crystal ball shows this thread crossing the line and getting shut down soon.

A couple of networks are more than biased - they are openly promoting specific political agendas. They also don't distinguish adequately between reporting and opinion. Clearly not limited to the network named above.

More generally, however, I have always felt there are news producers and reporters (newspapers, OTA broadcasters and magazines) that support the status quo and incumbent political leadership regardless of affiliation, while there are others that are critical of politicians. This is perceived as bias when it is really more of a style that needs to be always considered by the readers.

I also agree with Ziggy on the internet effect.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:42 PM   #12
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My crystal ball shows this thread crossing the line and getting shut down soon.
Yep, it's on life support at the moment. The subject is political and the linkage to early retirement and financial matters is tenuous at best.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:45 PM   #13
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Yep, it's on life support at the moment. The subject is political and the linkage to early retirement and financial matters is tenuous at best.
The only thing that's saved it (so far) is that it isn't resulting in a lot of nastiness and partisan finger pointing. But once "Fox News" enters the discussion, it is probably inevitably going to become partisan.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:53 PM   #14
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I think the cable news networks are going after an audience and all three of them (CNN, MSNBC, and Fox) tailor their reporting to the audience they want to attract for their advertisers.

The network news shows are likely biased simply because people and not datacrunching machines are making decisions on what stories to cover, but to me they are less obvious in their POVs.

Newspapers are showing their bias a little more as they scramble for readers to save themselves. The quality of their reporting imho has fallen as their staffs have been cut, and there is not a lot of money being spent in the newspaper biz anymore for thoughtful news analysis.

True, the question of media bias probably does not have much direct relation to RE.
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:29 PM   #15
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:32 PM   #16
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I lived in Venezuela when Chavez began his campaign and stayed quite close as he consolidated to become the tyrant and autocrat he is today.

The main newspapers and tv stations openly took sides – against him. In the beginning this pleased their viewers, loyal constituents, many intellectuals and international folks, but it so compromised their objectivity that when they began observing and reporting real troubling events and activities, they had no credibility and their stories were easily challenged and discredited by Chavez. 10 years later and they have now been totally neutered, while the owners and senior journalists live in fear of violence, prison, or worse for themselves and their families.

Media loss of objectivity is always followed by loss of credibility. Cynical politicians benefit but politics and democracy always lose. And it is never one-sided for long.

This is particularly relative for early retirement folks. FIRE takes a lot of work, effort, planning and perseverance - far too much to spend it sitting around listening to, reading biased media - or even debating it.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:38 PM   #17
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I didn't want name any specific news source in this.

It's just media sources in GENERAL like local news networks and newspapers and national news networks.

I'm surprised that some people do not think this has much to do with retirement.

Unless you do not care at all about what goes on in the world or you get all of your information from someone telling you what is going on.....you are probably listening to the media to get you info.

So many threads on here link info to media sources. Without these sources this forum would have easily half the amount of topics and nothing to link to. It's the SOURCE of information for the majority of people.

What I wondered is do others this that these sources are bias and if so how bias.

IMO the big national media networks are ALL bias...I won't into specifics but if I listen to one I get one distortion and the other another distortion!

On some of the big issues they are either fact or fiction depending on who you listen to.

My local news channels and newspaper are the same.

I had a neighbor that plead guilty to federal charges recently. One newspaper covered it...the other not a peep. If I relied on only the one paper I would have never even known.

I had a pretty bad murder occur close to my house. A guy was shot about 5 times and died. I really wanted to know about this since it was so close to me. Well guess what. I guess this was not profitable for the media because it was barely mentioned it.

This really disgusted me considering how much other meaningless stuff WAS covered instead.

It looks like so far a good amount of people see the media as bias also.

I know it's all a business but I kind of feel they have a higher responsibility to put the bias aside on a news show vs. some reality tv show.

But as one other poster mentioned it's more like infotainment than news a lot of times.

Sorry if I ticked anyone off with this thread...I thought it was a good topic.

Jim
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:05 PM   #18
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One thing I saw in an advertisement for a national news outlet was one of the talking heads giving this long dissertation of why he likes to be a newscaster. One of the things he said, that really stood out in my mind as a problem with the media, is that he felt it was very important to tell people why a topic is important. IMHO if a person can't figure out why a topic is important then it really isn't all that important.
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:26 PM   #19
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Lately I've noticed some amateur journalists on the web who go to events, do some reporting, take video/photos and post on their blog. Some of them are pretty good and informative.

Yesterday we had a freakish tornado downtown right outside the Convention Center and a Lutheran Church across the street - the Lutheran's were having a get together at both places concerning whether to have a more inclusive view towards gay sexuality. The tornado damaged the roof of the convention center and the church while they were deciding what to do. A Baptist pastor later said it was a gentle but firm warning to the Lutherans - Associated Baptist Press Report (pretty sure they have a baptist bias)

I was concerned and wanted to find out if my favorite record store nearby had been damaged. If the Lutherans were getting a gentle and firm warning I greatly feared for the record store and staff. I collect old vinyl records and I was concerned of course if everyone was alright and also if the LPs were undamaged. I couldn't get much info on the radio or TV, but an amateur street reporter blogged from the scene outside this beloved store and posted pictures also. Thankfully there were just broken windows and roof damage - they got off lightly this time also. Perhaps with the dire financial state of newspapers and TV, internet reporting will become more important and then God help us all.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:40 PM   #20
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Most if not all have a bias, but since they all know they should try to be objective, none are 'super biased' IMO.

I deliberately switch between Fox and CNN during newcasts when I watch the news. Since they're usually talking about the same major stories on any given day, it's much easier to spot the bias of Fox and CNN or others. I think it's unfortunate that people watch one or the other, eventually you don't even recognize the bias at all. Or if you watch nothing but CNN for a while and then switch to Fox, it's readily apparent. However, it's just as obvious if you watch Fox for a while and then switch to CNN.

Most people I know avoid listening to people/sources who are like minded, sad...and a large part of the polarization that has harmed our society/democracy IMO.
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