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Mainstream Media (MSM)

Published:

Last Edited: October 22, 2006, 7:46 pm

Since I am blocked from a Blog, I will write my comment here in response to what some people label the "Mainstream Media."

Freedom of the press always meant that different forms of media, including radio, tv, newspapers and magazines could report the news to the American public without censorship. Obviously, even the most politically neutral reporter has a personality and will, therefore, add some flavor to the news with his/her editorials, comments and reactions to news stories. However, a good reporter should always tell the truth.

Throughout the past 6 years, sources that have disagreed with policies of the current administration have been labeled as being radically Liberal, pro-Democrat, or even the Clinton News Network. In fact, I've read on this board many times that "Fox is the only news worth watching." So what does that tell you about the person who wrote it? I just don't know how anything can be "fair and balanced" when it leans so far to the right, but it's certainly one source of information and I have watched it with an open mind.

I began to feel concerned about my freedom of information well before the new Military Commissions Acts was signed last week. Beginning in 2002, several reporters were fired from their jobs after protesting the invasion of Iraq. Some celebrities who questioned the President's decision were banned from appearing on some television and radio stations. If you questioned our position in Iraq, the events of 9-11 or WMD, you were called un-American, un-Patriotic, un-Christian...lots of "uns." The new self-indulgent "Christian" media asked its readers to support violence and aggression. Whatever happened to "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God?"

I don't know how many reports are censored every week before going to print or airing on television. There are many of them. Although we might never get the whole story, the only way to keep the news that reaches us fair, honest and ethical is to rely on a variety of independent sources and research groups. The Mainstream Media is about making sure that such diversity exists and that all points of view are heard. The day I get my news from only one place without analyzing and reviewing the facts from a variety of reliable sources is the day I pledge my allegiance to a dictator and I'm not ready to give up my freedom just yet.

Entry #20

Comments

1.
Rick GComment by Rick G - October 22, 2006, 10:33 pm
Nancy,

You bring up an important point regarding journalism. A reporter or correspondent is not supposed to editorialize or insert bias into their story. This is difficult if not impossible, with TV or radio media because of the nature of those media. The old standard was that the story be presented as "who, what, where, when, why". An editor would fire a reporter for inserting the "because" into the story. That journalistic concept was applied to newspaper reporting. TV journalism is different because it only has a minute to give you the story in a concise video display. It takes us a lot longer to read an article on the same subject and a newspaper has the luxury of giving background to the story.

If an outside observer such as you and I are able to discern that there is a reporting bias in a news story than that is automatically not journalism in its purest sense. (e.g., CNN, FOXNews)

An interesting view of print news media can be obtained by looking at Google News. A headline is shown, the most recent articles on that subject appear just underneath...but then a link to EVERY recent print article on that subject worldwide (hundreds of newspapers) is provided. It gives one a plethora of sources from which they can make their own decisions on the facts and not the opinions. When going through several different newspapers' articles on the same subject, the facts invariably remain the same but the interpretation and editorializing on the facts differ greatly.

Read five random articles on the same subject, note the who, what, where, when, why from each article...the commonalities are the facts. Anything other than the "five W's" is bias.
2.
emilygComment by emilyg - October 22, 2006, 10:36 pm
rick - did not know google had news - thanks.
3.
Rick GComment by Rick G - October 22, 2006, 10:59 pm
Em, it's great news source especially if you want different angles on the same story. I find it interesting to read foreign articles on something affecting the US. It's a different slant on the nightly news. Also it gives an idea of how the outside world percieves us.
4.
justxploringComment by justxploring - October 23, 2006, 12:20 am
Emily, do you have a Google toolbar? I just click on the little newspaper icon. Otherwise, you can just go to www.google.com and look above the giant GOOGLE and there are choices. One of them is news. In never used "images" before and last night I asked someone where she lives on a chat. All I did was go to www.google.com and then clicked on images and all these pictures appeared. Same with food, a car or anything else. I don't know why I never thought if using it before. BTW, after seeing where this lady lives, I want to move there! lol Look at Shasta Lake. OMG!
5.
justxploringComment by justxploring - October 23, 2006, 12:33 am
http://www.projectcensored.org/

This is another valuable source. It's endorsed by Walter Cronkite who said:

"Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing throrough and ethical journalism." I never knew how many stories are censored all the time!

Mr. Cronkite also endorsed the Media Channel and said (his words are in print and on audio)

http://www.mediachannel.org/originals/cronkite.shtml

6.
emilygComment by emilyg - October 23, 2006, 12:43 am
justx - i live on google - just never noticed NEWS - big as life.
7.
justxploringComment by justxploring - October 23, 2006, 1:03 am
LOL! Well I never noticed the images link or the news link either to tell you the truth. I usually don't go to the google site. I downloaded a google tool bar and have the little news icon or I probably wouldn't have thought about it either. Now I'm having fun with "images" I just googled pasta (sorry, I'm weird) and clicked on images. It's getting me hungry.

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