The Daniel Pearl Standard

TodayYesterday I read in the WSJ a commentary by Judea Pearl titled “The Daniel Pearl Standard.” I thought it was a well-written article about how the news media has gone away from its traditional roots of unbiased journalism. I know the news business has never been fully non-biased (can anyone say Hearst?) but I agree with the article that today’s news media has gone too far. Reporting is no longer about the facts. Its now about the spin or the image that they want to portray.

To me an excellent example of this is CNN when they covered the Jan 8th 2008 back-to-back Democratic and Republican presidential debates. At the end of each debate instead of their own evaluation, CNN went to their reporters in the “Spin Room” to get what each of the candidates had to say about how well they did in the debate. They just had the press release from each candidate, which of course said they did a good job, and didn’t care one way or the other if the information released was accurate.

When is the news media going to go back to reporting the News and the Facts of an issue. I agree that there is two sides to every story, but if one side is factually wrong, they should not be given the same air time. It creates an impression to the viewer or reader that both sides have equal merit. If the issue is in contest, then of course present it impartially. But they should not let the presenter tell them the issue is debatable else we end up where we are now with global warming (should be about effects not whether its factual or not).

Posted under opinion, Politics, Rant

This post was written by Michael Tougeron on January 31, 2008

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