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Thread: Fair and Balanced Reporting

  1. #1
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    Fair and Balanced Reporting

    Is it possible in a capitalistic free market system for a news outlet to provide fair and balanced reporting at the same time as trying to generate sufficent revenues to survive and expand?
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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    Re: Fair and Balanced Reporting

    Depends on what "fair and balanced" means.

    If it means news reporting that is as un-baised as possible then yes it is possible. It just requires the correct legal framework or rules to avoid that a 3rd party gets influence on the content. By 3rd party I mean economic or political parties or both, and even the personal opinion of the journalist. One of the main media rules in the UK, is that no journalist is allowed to show personal opinion when reporting the news. This is a very good principle if you ask me.

    But to be frank, the definition of "news" has been warped and muddied a lot the last few decades with the 24 hour news channels. At least in the old days, there was the nightly news and everyone knew that was the news. Now days we can have debates over people like O'Rielly or Larry King or other shows.. are they news or "some sort of show"? Is CNBC a news channel or is it a normal channel and should they be covered by the same journalistic integrity rules? The lines have been blurred quite a bit and that is not good for the integrity of the news business.

    On top of that we have fewer and fewer owners, which is not good for the business. If you ask me big media corporations like Time-Warner, Newscorp should divest their news business.. especially when they own several news sources in the same area.

    Also there should be water tight rules that state that an owner of a news organisation can not have any influence what so ever on the "content" and journalistic approach and freedom. Sadly that is very lacking in some countries and it shows on the news media.
    PeteEU

  3. #3
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    Re: Fair and Balanced Reporting

    "Fair" and "Balanced" are subjective terms that exist largely in the mind of the beholder. Considering that I have heard some attribute these qualities to Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews while denying them to Bill O' Reilly and Sean Hannity, the inescapable conclusion is that "Fair and Balanced" simplifies to "Fairly Unbalanced".

    Additionally, much of what passes for reporting today is more properly termed analysis--and analysis, which intentionally proffers conclusions, is not and should never be considered either "fair" or "balanced".

    What actual news reporting should be is "objective". It should clearly state the who, the what, the when and the where of an event. That most certainly can exist in a free market system--because knowing what's going on in the world has value to just about everyone.

  4. #4
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    Re: Fair and Balanced Reporting

    If a very rich guy was prepared to do it and just employ people based on qualifications and inisted on accurate reporting.Provided this guy could just let the chips fall where they may.Seems unlikely.

    However its more likely it would be worse as it would protray the views of a single person completely.
    The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.

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    Re: Fair and Balanced Reporting

    any analysis of issues injects advocacy, even a neutral position assigns equal weight to what may be an unequal argument.

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    Re: Fair and Balanced Reporting

    You will always make more money selling a specific product/service to a specific market then you would selling general products/services to a general market.

    To make efficient and increasing revenues based on advertising the news agency would have to promise viewership levels of specific demographics to the advertisers. Advertisers aren't going to blindly spend millions of dollars on an ad to an untargeted market.
    "Gold gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be scratching their head."
    - Warren Buffett

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    Re: Fair and Balanced Reporting

    YouTube - 911 inside job - Kevin Barrett on fox news


    BTW, I'm not posting this to start a debate on 9-11... just watch this and ask yourself if the newscaster is actually being fair and balanced.

    The fact is that it's 'fair and balanced' so long as you agree.

    I could probably find dozens of other examples like this.

  8. #8
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    Re: Fair and Balanced Reporting

    I can balance a pile of **** and a filet mignon on some scales, but it's not like anyone is going to eat the piece of ****.

    Balanced means nothing in the real world. And fair is 100% subjective.

  9. #9
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    Re: Fair and Balanced Reporting

    Even making the effort of fairness leads to ridiculous imbalance. If a network airs a report on creationism, they will present an equal number of voices on each side, as if the debate were balanced. A truly balanced argument on the subject would pit 7 rational people against one religious nutcase...but of course that would appear biased.

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    Re: Fair and Balanced Reporting

    Quote Originally Posted by WillRockwell View Post
    Even making the effort of fairness leads to ridiculous imbalance. If a network airs a report on creationism, they will present an equal number of voices on each side, as if the debate were balanced. A truly balanced argument on the subject would pit 7 rational people against one religious nutcase...but of course that would appear biased.
    Can you elaborate on how that 7-1 ratio would be balanced?

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