Question by magistra_linguae: What are some of the qualities of a legitimate, unbiased news organization?
For example, one trait exhibited by legitimate news organizations is that when they print or read out “letters to the editor,” they do not only select letters that agree with their take on things or praise them. They select both complimentary and critical letters. Moreover, when they do select critical letters, they do not reply with sarcasm, ad hominem attacks, a counter attack, or by rolling their eyes. In fact, they usually do not reply at all. They just let the readers or listeners decide for themselves whether the criticism is valid or not.
What are some other examples of traits the differentiate legitimate professional news organizations from news organizations run by spin doctors? Does taking a certain political position automatically render a news organization invalid, or is it how they express their position and how they react to those with a different position that renders them biased and hence illegitmate?
Greg V: Point taken! Ok, there’s no such thing as an unbiased news organization. But is there a point beyond which a news organization becomes so biased that it can no longer be considered legitimate?
Answer by Greg V
Looks like I’ll have to be the first to say it…there’s no such thing as an unbiased news organization. News organizations make biased decisions every day regarding which story gets put on the front page, which headlines are printed in the biggest fonts, which photos are given prominence, etc. All of their decisions regarding content and design are subjective and, therefore, biased to the opinion of those who produce the news, be it print or broadcast. News organizations not only report the news, they tell us what IS news by their decisions of what gets ink (or air time) and what doesn’t.
What do you think? Answer below!