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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

both sides now media « Previous | |Next »
July 20, 2009

One of the annoying aspects of the traditional media--newspapers, television and radio--is not its celebrity culture, which is bad enough. It is political journalism's conception of objectivity. Objectivity is understood as truth, and truth is gained from splitting the difference between the two sides. This implies that there is always truth to both sides of an issue. So we have "both-sides-are-equally-valid" journalism on climate change when natural science is clearly on one side of the debate.

I find this objectivity of political journalism amazing when a core problem with the traditional media is their closeness to political power. They are on the drip feed----access to the well known senior or anonymous resources that pop up everywhere in the media. So instead of journalism's ethos being one of telling truth to power, it is one of transmitting spin and deception to the powerless citizens by recycling their media releases. Journalism is presenting the media releases from both sides of an issue as news and commentary. It's manufactured news and the journalists become spokespersons, and advocates, for a political faction or the government of the day. They depend on these sources.

For them----and there are exceptions---it is often best to keep the lights off rather than turn them on about the media's dependance on, and closeness to, political power.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:19 AM |