Do not take me for a gullible fool, Sharke :)
For one, everyone in here is fully aware of the fact the media in influenced. If for nothing else, by the piece writer own bias. Even if unintentional. Such is human nature. However there's the matter of gradation. Who's doing a lousy job and who's doing a so-so job. BBC is in the so-so category.
But most importantly, I look for more than one source for my news. From a few TV new channels and newspapers mostly. Also a weekly and a monthly magazine. So, I do get a feel for the extent of BBC or NY Times bias and let me tell you there's a lot worse.
I wouldn't be naming these two among some of my personal favorites otherwise.
Naturally you can disagree. But I'll ask you what do you suggest then? I'm curious.
If you go to the biased-BBC blog at Biased BBC you can look back over the archives of a few years and see for yourself that the BBC has often been a master of spin and disinformation. What makes it worse, moreover, is the fact that the BBC is a media outlet that the British public are forced to pay for in the form of a license fee which is payable annually by everyone who owns a TV. Something that is paid for by an involuntary tax should not be in the business of promoting any one particular ideological agenda. In fact it's often pointed out that they're broadcasting a world view which is at odds with the majority of people who fund it.
What happens if you refuse to pay your license? Well ultimately, they can throw you in jail.
It's also interesting how the BBC is in effect "prepackaged" with all new TV set - if you buy a new TV, your name is forwarded to the license agency and they pay you a visit if you haven't bought a license. However, there seems to be no push by EU trust busters to investigate the BBC in the same way they attacked Microsoft for having Windows bundled with (some) PCs. Then again, the BBC broadcasts news with a pro-EU spin and is thus a handy tool of propaganda for the Union.
The version of the tax that I was informed about is that if you own a TV you pay it, so the route to boycotting should be obvious.Quote:
What happens if you refuse to pay your license?
I'm a firm believer that we should choose the least of all evils, keep a critic mind and make sure to supply us with an healthy number of different sources. Name me one unbiased source of daily information and we can discuss the evil that is BBC. Meanwhile it has been named here two news sources that are incomparably more biased than BBC, judging from general opinion (which I share). So, what's your option?
News media: They make(?) the news and we choose what we want to believe. The irony is that our choices are as guilty of bias as they are. Keep that in mind.
EDIT: BTW, I noticed the bias on biased-bbc.blogspot.com. Haven't you?
But this blog, I think, just uses the BBC as a touchstone ploy/gimmick so that the author that can go off on his own tangents and rants (which is a clever idea IMO).
What's funny about the article I just read, on Muslim Weddings and Jim Fitzpatrick, is that the one on the world service* (different reporters) I would say had the exact opposite attempt at spin: they grilled the people responsible for the wedding. Pretty silly stuff in any case. BTW, when the B-BBC guy says "More Muslim moderation" I get the impression he means it is biased to give any airtime at all to their perspective ("it's a tradition to segregate at some weddings"), as he is clearly not keen on Islam?
* he uses one from the "Asian network"; I'm guessing he picks and chooses pieces to support some kind of generalized hypothesis, like "Look, the BBC are nazis" or (more likely) "Look, the BBC are liberals".
People hear what they want to hear. That's why news gets biased in the first place. It's not like the BBC, or Fox, or CNN (or whoever) is thinking, "Hmm... how can we take this legitimate facts we have seen for ourselves and word this in a manipulative and beneficial way?" (Well.. sometimes you might think that...). The reporters see and hear things, and they interpret those to support beliefs they already have. Then they report about what they "saw".Quote:
News always has been, and always will be biased. It's just a reflection of human nature. Maybe a thousand years in the future we will have evolved more Vulcan virtues and will be able to tell things "how they are", but until then you can count on pretty much every piece of propagated information to be filtered through our lenses of morality (or the lack thereof), conjecture, and hidden agendas. The key then is simply finding a source that provides enough facts to "read between the lines". It's not always possible, of course, and that's basically what we're struggling with today. Maybe a good solution would be to start a blog-based movement where everyone reports facts independently and then just have some piece of software process it into a cohesive information base? You'd have to have some way of identifying inconsistencies, of course, but there are a lot of ways to approach that problem. Just a random thought, anyway. :p
I actually don't even ask for the ability to "read between the lines". I do see your point, mind you. But I'd already be happy with more news source that actually, you know, show facts worth of being told.
I insist that indeed there's only one media that still can provide us with some quality in-depth material on a regular basis. That's the printing press. Television is FUBAR.
Yeah, there's definitely something about the whole synergetic of radio/television that encourages taking things in the wrong direction - the entertainment factor, and all. That isn't as easily done in print, since the mind is generally much more focused/analytical when reading, obviously. But the content issue is still a major problem there. I remember a few years back switching from the Houston Chronicle to the Dallas Morning News, only to be assaulted with a bunch of frivolous stories about lost pets, good-neighbor vibes, and whatnot. Well, I'm certainly glad to hear that Mrs. Crabmeyer was reunited with her lifetime friend and poodle, Mitsy, but does it really deserve a front-page spread, when a recent plane crash out of state isn't even mentioned at all? What the hell is that?!