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News Skews | Iraq, Interests, Americans & the Press

March 22nd, 2006 by Joel

george.w.bush-podium-gestureThe Whitehouse has recently posed the question of how “honest” the press’ coverage of the Iraq war is. I say ‘war is hell’ – deal with it.

With this reality of war (which most all accept) aside, a debate has begun that is taking a serious look at the issue. A number of theories have been put forth; the press is compensating for it’s lack of in-depth reporting by being overly negative ( a lesson learned in the lead up to the Iraq war), on the other side we hear, WSIWYG – we are getting the accurate picture; besides, what else do we have to rely on? But there’s another side to this argument…

Profits and journalistic integrity don’t mix. Ever since Ronald Reagan lifted the law forcing the press to provide equal coverage of the issues, we have seen the rise of sensationalistic & opinionated news reporting. These profit driven media companies quickly learned this lesson …

People want their news, they also want validation for their views – this is natural. The bottom-line driven media companies are here to deliver. Fortunately, we have an alternative: PBS and the BBC, run as non-profits, are not subject to the same pressures as these other media outlets. The result is more balanced news and a sustained commitment to journalistic integrity. Even here there’s a lesson though…

In this age of digital information, the responsibility for filtering out all of the bullhonky falls more squarely on our shoulders than ever before. Regardless of where you get your news from, there’s no such thing as a completely unbiased point of view; therefore it is imperative that we remain diligent and conscious of our perceptions, question everything and draw our own conclusions.

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