04 October 2019

A chart of media bias


Data source and Reddit discussion thread.

11 comments:

  1. When I teach media literacy at the library, I stress that everyone has ideological biases and that it's important to read news sources that disagree with each other. The ideal state of the informed voter is confusion.

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    1. I agree that you should read a wide variety of sources but disagree that an informed voter should be in a state of confusion! Down that path lies hopelessness and a desire not to believe ANY source. I hope you also recommend fact-checking sites and/or sources.

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  2. I like this. I have an issue with some placements, but it's mostly minor nits.

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  3. An almost perfect bell curve, actually. Which is to be expected.

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  4. I'm curious to know what the inaccurate/fabricated information was in Palmer Report -- I've been following it daily for the past few years and am a compulsive fact-checker and have not found it to be inaccurate (except for his headlines, which I (and other readers) do get on him about their clickbait-iness.

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  5. Yes, I do recommend fact-checking sites. But many fact-checking sites are themselves sharply biased if not dishonest. They're not neutral arbiters. That's why I tell students to check fact-checking sites on both sides of the political spectrum.

    I think that confusion is ideal because the confused voter is uncertain about the situation he is voting on. Hopefully, this uncertainty leads to caution and humility. As Yeats said:

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    I think that the greatest political crimes of our history (e.g. war, genocide) have been committed by people who were absolutely certain that they were right.

    But I could be wrong about that.

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    Replies
    1. Do you have any evidence that fact-checking sites are biased and/or dishonest? I've seen nothing of the kind. Politifact, Snopes, FactCheck.org, etc all use copious references in their debunking. Please don't tell me that you're one of the people spreading the "Fact-checking sites are all owned by George Soros" nonsense! And, no, confusion is never ideal. Confusion SHOULD lead to inaction until clarity is reached. Confusion is what people like Trump thrive on. It's true that a "foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" and absolute certainty ***that defies and dismisses all evidence to the contrary*** is dangerous -- but the truly confused are easily misled by fast talk and slick patter.

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    2. Here is a fairly balanced look at Snopes. They are helpful on things like urban legends, but their bias shows when they get involved in religious and political issues. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2016/12/22/the-daily-mail-snopes-story-and-fact-checking-the-fact-checkers/#495c888f227f

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    3. You can check this one, also. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/07/18/snopes_and_editorializing_fact_checks_137551.html

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  6. Sometime about a year ago I started following Axios for my main national news via RSS. The writing style is awesome, blog style. Often has multiple sub-heads like "why it matters" "between the lines". Bullets, short paragraphs, personal asides. Not too wonky, no trash. After all that, the bias is clear when there is some, as their contextual format has a place to explicitly express it.

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