Media Bias Theory

Spurred by the local news and traffic radio station, KOMO.

KOMO has been great for the last several years– when we were trying to get over here during that big flood a few years back, their citizen reporting was amazing.

Recently, though, I noticed that their news coverage is suddenly horrible– very compelling stories, but light on facts, with a distinct left-wing bias. Before, I liked it because it was so very just-the-facts and had a balance of quote-clips. The citizen reporting usually only comes in when someone calls in news, but now they’ve suddenly got a huge number of mini-interviews or very long sound clips, and there’s a lot of editorializing. There also seems to be fewer stories in all– for example, this morning they’re still covering a story about a coyote that chased a couple’s cat into their house and had to be removed by professionals. For the second day. Day before yesterday and yesterday was the story about the moron that thought a flooded, freezing river was preferable to being caught by La Migra, and died as an entirely predictable result. They also covered the new “gaza freedom boats” thing, without mentioning that the guys were armed, or the whole “known terrorists” thing….

Before this, they “told” the news stories– now, they’re pretty clearly reading it word for word, to the point where I’m only mostly sure they’re not playing recorded sections.

Came to mind in part because I’m known to be a really mindblowingly bad storyteller– “too many details!”– and I get a bit annoyed at folks who are great storytellers, but leave out a LOT of important information.

THE THEORY
(For those who want to pass over my blather.)

Liberals tend to edit with an eye to being compelling, interesting, a good story.
Conservatives tend to edit with an eye to hitting all the relevant points.

How often have you had someone that knows the topic of a news story tell you that it’s leaving out most of the important stuff, but turn around and assume that the next story, on a subject they don’t know much about, is the whole story? Or, heaven forbid, have you had someone use a reality TV show as “evidence” for something?
 (If one more person starts talking about “Real Housewives of Orange County” when they hear I’m a stay-at-home, there may be blood.)

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2 thoughts on “Media Bias Theory”

  1. “How often have you had someone that knows the topic of a news story tell you that it's leaving out most of the important stuff, but turn around and assume that the next story, on a subject they don't know much about, is the whole story?”

    The Three Questions To Ask About News Story Trustworthiness:

    1) Have you ever read a news story concerning something with which you were directly involved or about which you have a great deal of knowledge? (The answer is almost always “yes.”)

    2) How accurate was it? (The answer is almost always “not very” or “not at all.”)

    3) Then why should you expect the other news stories to be more accurate?

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