I got an email the other day from an engineer who wants to build a new website to weed out bias in journalism. His idea made me chuckle—not just because of the technical difficulty of detecting something as subjective as bias, but because it is based on the widespread misconception that bias is bad.
For years, conservative critics have claimed that lefty journalists slant their coverage, and wrongly suggested that bias in journalism is always bad. These attacks eroded the credibility of the mainstream media and fueled the rise of conservative outlets. Three-fourths of people cite bias as a factor in their mistrust of the news media, according to a 2018 Gallup survey for the Knight Foundation’s Trust, Media and Democracy project.
In fact, bias in journalism is good. It just needs to be labeled and understood.
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In my courses at Duke, I begin each semester with a diagram I call the “Continuum of Journalism,” which includes a range of journalistic genres: op-eds, investigations, fact-checks, you name it. The continuum could easily be rebranded “The Bias Meter.” At one end is what I’ve labeled “Objective News”—stories that strive to present all points of view. At the other end is “Opinion,” which includes articles by columnists, op-eds, TV and film reviews, and newspaper editorials. Pieces on the “Opinion” end of the spectrum help us to explore our feelings on issues and sharpen our political views; they soften our perspectives, or crystallize them. We like
Read more here: https://www.cjr.org/opinion/bias-journalism.php