Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trusting your news source

So apparently there is a new poll out saying that more people trust Fox than any other news source and the article brings up a very interesting point, people are more drawn to their specific political bias than they are to neutrality anymore.

These numbers suggest quite a shift in what Americans want from their news. A generation ago Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in the country because of his neutrality. Now people trust Fox the most precisely because of its lack of neutrality. It says a lot about where journalism is headed.

This poll is sad but definitely not far off from the truth. I have a really hard time, with television news in particular, watching and not noticing the bias that is created. I think it is also easier in the television medium because of the role the reporters play in the delivery of the news. It's not just the name CNN that makes someone think liberal, it's Anderson Cooper's face or or Wolf Blitzer's tone of voice.

I really gave up on the televised news after the last election. CNN was so biased I couldn't believe they weren't clapping when Obama was officially elected. When you see that sort of enthusiasm and you can't hide it, it makes you lose faith in the reporting network.

I think a more interesting poll would indicate what people trust as their printed news source. I think discovering the bias in print media is much more difficult and takes much more intellect to spot. When I read things I try to look for the bias as a mental exercise. As a journalists I try to think of other questions each article could have answered or asked even that would make the article a more complete story.

Either way I think it is really sad that becoming a popular news source now must be based on establishing your beliefs. I was taught and have always believed in being neutral and showing both sides of the story. It is the readers' or the viewers' role to choose which way to take the issue, not the news outlet's.

No comments:

Post a Comment