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Re: Debate: Ways to overcome bias in media

PostPosted: 13 May 2021, 15:36
by schocker
The debate lives on....

Re: Debate: Ways to overcome bias in media

PostPosted: 13 May 2021, 21:55
by with_an_h
I don't fully understand how one can think it's better to consider all media/journalists as liars and advocate a world without them, and then say that having external media/journalists is a coping mechanism for state-dominated info dissemination.

Re: Debate: Ways to overcome bias in media

PostPosted: 13 May 2021, 22:33
by V
with_an_h wrote:I don't fully understand how one can think it's better to consider all media/journalists as liars and advocate a world without them, and then say that having external media/journalists is a coping mechanism for state-dominated info dissemination.


To clarify;
Right now I believe journalist integrity in English speaking democracies to be appallingly low (I can’t speak to other nations, due to ignorance & lack of language skills) & as such we would probably be better off without them. At least I can make that individual choice & ignore them all for my own benefit & so can others.
I agreed that East Germans accessed overseas information to counter internal propaganda & that that was a good example of a coping mechanism when internal news sources cannot be trusted. Sadly the case in many places now.
However I didn’t mean to suggest that West German radio stations was the only example of how they probably got that information. I’m sure it contributed, but I’d bet they had a many ways of getting uncensored information from comparatively trustworthy sources to counter the misinformation they were bombarded with.

One cannot declare West German radio stations were necessarily “independent” either. BBC World Service & Radio America being two examples that folks from a different persuasion might equally describe as propaganda.
It’s not that independent journalism cannot contribute to distribution of valuable information, it’s just that sometimes it doesn’t do much of a job at it (like right now) & it is not indispensable. We can survive as societies without journalists!
Rather none that the garbage we currently have in my opinion, but others are welcome to their “light entertainment of propaganda” if they so wish.

Re: Debate: Ways to overcome bias in media

PostPosted: 26 May 2021, 23:15
by with_an_h
I haven't responded in a few days as I've been busy with games, but some final thoughts here as I think we're approaching a reasonable ending point.

Not every journalistic source is biased in every way. There are always issues that seem so obscure (read: uncharged) and sometimes those that are charged where the journalist nails the issue fairly, truthfully, and independently on the head. And even those sources that are "biased" can produce reporting without bias. Compared to official East German comms, West German radio stations and the like could report the unfiltered truth (albeit through a different world view) and that was good enough for East Germans.

This is why I've been saying it matters that these sources exist and that we build the skills for readership and media literacy. Communication is a 2-way street. I don't see the complete and utter removal of (imperfect) journalism as net good.

I have more thoughts (and these feel rushed), but won't have much time to respond. Feel free to keep this going if you'd like and I can try to respond (but no guarantees).

Thanks for the debate.

Re: Debate: Ways to overcome bias in media

PostPosted: 14 Jun 2021, 19:34
by Dar Krum
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread!

While it seems to be coming to a natural ending point, perhaps I can add a new wrinkle to the idea of bias in the media...

Bias in the media is an objective reality. It can be demonstrated on a daily basis at any number of news gathering sites. Does this make all media outlets biased? I find I am in agreement with the affirmative position. But. As with judging most issues, there is a spectrum that we can see. What I mean is that some organizations are more biased than others. My rule of thumb tends to be, "The more boring the copy, the closer to unbiased we get." Reuters and the AP, as examples, seem to be some of the dullest stories to read. And they also tend to be rated highest for least bias.

The wrinkle I wanted to drop into the discussion was something else though. Bias exists in all humans to one extent or another. Perhaps the problem is less with bias in the media as opposed to bias in us? Even in the face of scientific consensus, many humans will not accept the truth of a topic. Their world view, ideology, religion, requires of them that they reject scientific consensus in favour of their views. It would be my position that today the truth leans to the left. Anthropomorphic climate change is real, evolution is true, the world is a sphere, vaccines do not cause autism, there is a global pandemic, gravity works, vampires are not real. A news outlet that reports such things is not biased; the reader who sees that as biased is.

Is there currently a correlation between such people and the perception that there is an unprecedented bias in the media?

Re: Debate: Ways to overcome bias in media

PostPosted: 15 Jun 2021, 00:14
by V
Dar Krum wrote:I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this thread!

While it seems to be coming to a natural ending point, perhaps I can add a new wrinkle to the idea of bias in the media...

Bias in the media is an objective reality. It can be demonstrated on a daily basis at any number of news gathering sites. Does this make all media outlets biased? I find I am in agreement with the affirmative position. But. As with judging most issues, there is a spectrum that we can see. What I mean is that some organizations are more biased than others. My rule of thumb tends to be, "The more boring the copy, the closer to unbiased we get." Reuters and the AP, as examples, seem to be some of the dullest stories to read. And they also tend to be rated highest for least bias.

The wrinkle I wanted to drop into the discussion was something else though. Bias exists in all humans to one extent or another. Perhaps the problem is less with bias in the media as opposed to bias in us? Even in the face of scientific consensus, many humans will not accept the truth of a topic. Their world view, ideology, religion, requires of them that they reject scientific consensus in favour of their views. It would be my position that today the truth leans to the left. Anthropomorphic climate change is real, evolution is true, the world is a sphere, vaccines do not cause autism, there is a global pandemic, gravity works, vampires are not real. A news outlet that reports such things is not biased; the reader who sees that as biased is.

Is there currently a correlation between such people and the perception that there is an unprecedented bias in the media?


OK your “wrinkle” tempted me & it encroaches on the issue of “dissenting view”. An issue close to my heart.
“There is a global pandemic” caught my eye. OK, Coronavirus exists! I’m not a conspiracy theorist but...
Here’s some scientific facts from my home country that have appeared in various news publications & added together present an interesting perspective.

So far they have found 237+ different versions of Coronavirus in Costa Rica, all of very similar pathogenicity. That number is several months old, so maybe even 300+ by now. The vast majority are traced & attributed to overseas visitors bringing us delightful gifts.
This country has started a vaccination program, but belatedly. It also has policies regarding social distancing which are largely ignored. We latins are FRIENDLY! We hug, not shake hands, on greeting. Businesses do have some restrictions, but restaurants & bars are busy. So are street parties commonplace.

Coronavirus is an airborne virus similar to the good old common cold, but much more lethal, & very contagious by all reports. I can believe it, there’s no reason not to & go around “denying science”.
So, with a vast number of versions in circulation, with virtually no barriers to contagion for about 18 months, we could expect to have a disaster on our hands! It’s a pretty fair guess everyone has been exposed to Coronavirus multiple times by now. If it was a flu virus, or a cold virus, everyone would have been reaching for the handkerchiefs at least once.

But a few more published facts regarding Costa Rica.
The total deaths are just over 4,000 now in 18 months. Heart disease has a higher death rate here.
We just had peak hospitalisations at around 1,400 simultaneously. The system creaked but has survived.
Private & Public health services have absolute collaboration here, under such circumstances.

Yes, we have a “global pandemic”. It’s been declared that by WHO, but in comparison to other issues of 3rd world nations, is it really that bad? I ask the question because a “differing perspective” of “oh let’s just get on with life, it’s not that serious” is completely demonised.

Do the maths. Our population is just over 5 million. That’s around 99.92% survival! I’ll take those odds any day.

So here’s the dissenting view;
We don’t need vaccines against Coronavirus as an entire populace. Some people might want them because they have dangerous comorbidity factors such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or obesity (0ver 60% of USA deaths “caused” by Coronavirus had one or more of these).
How about fixing the lifestyle issues first? Not go vaccinate everyone on the planet! Including children!
We definitely don’t need to stop treating other dangerous life threatening conditions, by creating a waiting list of over 5 million people needing care in the UK alone. Again published information.
We don’t need to stop businesses & folks freely going about their lives. The risk isn’t great enough & the damage to society is immense.
We don’t need to sabotage education by closing schools. Kids aren’t dying of Coronavirus in significant enough numbers. In fact nobody is.

That lot alone nowadays gets me the label of “Coronavirus derniere”. Fortunately I don’t give a flying F...
I’m a graduate biochemist & viruses haven’t changed that much since I studied virology. I have 2 Associate Professor friends who have studied immunology 40 years each, who are horrified by what society has done in “the name of science” regarding Coronavirus. Their dissenting view is also labelled appropriately by those who would have us not believe them.
After all the “science” we’re told in the media has to be true. Anyone who suggests that the filthy lucre might be involved here, is just a conspiracy theorist...

Don’t get caught “arguing with the science” as rammed down your throat by the Daily Scumbag Edition.

Re: Debate: Ways to overcome bias in media

PostPosted: 15 Jun 2021, 03:30
by Dar Krum
Fascinating response.

So, coronavirus, specifically COVID 19, exists. It seems we’d likely agree on a number or range of deaths. It seems possible we’d even agree that a majority of the experts agree on a particular course of action to combat the pandemic. The question of whether you agree with that course of action is of little interest to me and has nothing to do with this thread that I can see. Though I’d love to discuss the issues facing Latin American nations of greater import than COVID. In another thread.

Having said that, I feel your response bolsters my thought that the bias in the media might be more a bias in the consumer of the media. You accept so many of the facts, yet you offer a dissenting opinion from that of the majority of experts on the planet. When you see your opinion presented in the media as that of a fringe, you, perhaps, see a bias in the media?

Re: Debate: Ways to overcome bias in media

PostPosted: 15 Jun 2021, 15:50
by V
Dar Krum wrote:Fascinating response.

So, coronavirus, specifically COVID 19, exists. It seems we’d likely agree on a number or range of deaths. It seems possible we’d even agree that a majority of the experts agree on a particular course of action to combat the pandemic. The question of whether you agree with that course of action is of little interest to me and has nothing to do with this thread that I can see. Though I’d love to discuss the issues facing Latin American nations of greater import than COVID. In another thread.

Having said that, I feel your response bolsters my thought that the bias in the media might be more a bias in the consumer of the media. You accept so many of the facts, yet you offer a dissenting opinion from that of the majority of experts on the planet. When you see your opinion presented in the media as that of a fringe, you, perhaps, see a bias in the media?


Glad you found it fascinating. It’s definitely rarely expressed. My view is that the “experts” are bought & paid for & the media blitz coverage of their pronouncements hysterical, hence dark suspicions of bias. Obviously I can’t prove anything, but the Coronavirus response stinks of profiteering opportunism & only time will tell.