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Considering The Source

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serenity blaze
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0 posted 11-30-2008 02:31 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'm looking for some accurate news sources--a non-partisan watchdog, if you will.

Is this a good one?
http://www.publicintegrity.org/


moonbeam
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1 posted 11-30-2008 03:42 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I know Bob and Balladeer have mentioned it before, but I've found that for unbiased, unsensational, unhyped reporting this:
http://www.csmonitor.com/

is about as good as it gets Karen.

serenity blaze
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2 posted 11-30-2008 03:52 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thank you, moonbeam.

I'll put that one on my list too.
Ron
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3 posted 11-30-2008 05:25 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

There is no such thing as an unbiased news source. Nor can there be.
serenity blaze
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4 posted 11-30-2008 05:39 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I don't understand.

Isn't objectivity the mainstay of journalism?

Explain please?

And what do you read? I tried to read "all of them" but it's kind of impossible. So I'm looking for a choice few...
Essorant
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5 posted 11-30-2008 05:51 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

All meat comes with some fat.

Balladeer
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6 posted 11-30-2008 06:05 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Isn't objectivity the mainstay of journalism?

Not in this world, serenity gal.
serenity blaze
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7 posted 11-30-2008 06:18 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

And to think that I didn't take Journalism because I didn't think I would be able to reign in my emotions...

sigh

but I thought I could be a proper anthropologist?

HEH.

Ron
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8 posted 11-30-2008 08:33 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Isn't objectivity the mainstay of journalism?

Usually, Karen, yea. In spite of what Mike believes.  

Teachers are supposed to be objective, as well. Policemen and judges. And, okay, maybe anthropologists, too. Trouble is, true objectivity leaves a person absolutely no basis on which to make decisions. And journalism, like all of life, is just filled with decisions.

Which stories do you want to run in your publication? Unless you can print everything, obviously not possible, you're going to have to make some non-objective decisions. Which facts do you want to include in each story? Which facts are too unimportant to warrant inclusion? What order of importance do you want to give each story? What order of importance for those facts? How big is the headline? Does this story rate a picture?

Whether your decisions are motivated by a hidden agenda, as Mike often contends, or by a desire to sell newspapers, every one of those decisions is going to introduce subjectivity into your journalism. Every decision is the result of what you think about what you're reporting, not simply on the facts of what you're reporting. It can't ever be helped, can't ever be eliminated. Good journalists try, just as do good teachers, policemen, and judges. No one ever completely succeeds.

You don't have to read everything, but you DO have to read widely. And, more importantly, you have to read critically. The bias is always there. Look for it. Look for your own, too. Only in looking for the bias can you hope to guard against it.


Juju
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9 posted 11-30-2008 08:52 PM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

bbc

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thougts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

Balladeer
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10 posted 11-30-2008 09:09 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I don't disagree with a lot of what you say, Ron, but, on the other hand I can take a story and present it in different ways.

Dog Bites Man
=============

I can give it as straight news.

Mr. Roland Garros was bitten by a large snauser while walking down 4th avenue on Tuesday, July 4th. Mr. Garros was treated on the scene for a minor puncture of the skin and released. The snauser was taken to Passion's Animal hospital to be checked for rabies.

I can give it as being biased toward the victim..

Mr. Roland Garros, while walking down 4th avenue, was savagely attacked by a large snauser and suffered a bite on his left forearm. Fire Rescue was summoned to the scene and treated the victim, obviously in a great deal of pain by that time. According to Mr. Garros, the dog came out of nowhere and he didn't have a chance to get away. The animal who instigated the attack was taken to be tested for rabies.

I can make it biased against the victim..

Mr. Roland Garros was bitten by a large snauser while walking down 4th avenue today. The dog, which has no record of ever having attacked anyone before, bit Mr. Garros in the forearm. There were no witnesses to describe the incident in detail or to state if it was an unprovoked attack or if Mr. Garros had somehow been antagonizing the pooch before the attack occured, but the dog's owner, Samuel Grinch, claimed that his snauser was a completely tame animal that never attacked anyone before and was very good with children. He opined that there had to be more to the attack than Mr. Garros had offered. The animal, offering no resistance and even licking the face of the animal control officer, was taken away for rabies testing.

I can write from the dog owner's point of view or even the dog's point of view!

Once the press chooses the news they want to make public, then they choose how they want to present it. In a biased manner due to political views? In a sensationalistic manner to sell a lot of papers? THAT is where the bias comes in and today's journalism engages in it. Seldom will you see a straight story given and Joe Friday (just the facts, ma'am) would be out of place in this world.

serenity blaze
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11 posted 11-30-2008 09:22 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Ah, I see.

I think. (I was off making snowflakes... )

But now I'm getting all Karenoid again, because all that you said sounds reasonable and makes perfect sense. What I find shuddersome is that if gathering of Intelligence and resulting Operations runs pretty much the same way, it is no wonder we're in such a mess.
Ron
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12 posted 11-30-2008 09:48 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
In a biased manner due to political views? In a sensationalistic manner to sell a lot of papers?

Those aren't the only possibilities, though, Mike. If Mr. Garros was bitten on Fourth Avenue in Kalamazoo, I doubt you'll read about it in Ft. Lauderdale's Sun-Sentinel. Sensationalism isn't the only way, or even the best way, to sell a lot of papers. Relevance sells, too, and most Florida newspapers are unlikely to judge Mr. Garros very relevant to their readers. Journalists are just like poets; they write what they hope people will want to read.

Most honest reporters will write your first story, Mike. However, printing "just the facts" is still biased reporting because the alternative is to NOT print the story at all. The guy who tries to make you feel sympathy for the dog is not hiding his bias. The guy who refuses to print any story about a dog biting a man is no less biased but is far more likely to catch us unaware.
serenity blaze
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13 posted 12-01-2008 03:34 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_48/b3910102_mz016.htm
oceanvu2
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14 posted 01-13-2009 09:45 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Ron -- Sorry to come in late, but can't cameras be an unbiased news source?  Of course, they aren't always unbiased etc, but I think your remaks included the word "never."

From our Vietnam era, for example, the picture of the little naked girl on fire, the presumed VC person being shot in the head, and the Buddhist monk setting himself ablaze in protest seem to be unbiased photographic accounts of what was happening in that precise location at that precise moment in time.  My personal Vietnam picture of a one legged Wietnamese man with a handkerchief stuffed in a hole in his face didn't reflect a personal bias.  The man was standing in front of me.

Similarly, were the infamous pictures from Abu Ghraib biased, or were the events actually taking place?  Were 9/11 photo's and videos a fraud or biased?   Are the photos and videos of dead Palestinians and Israeli's biased, or are those humans actually dead?

This is almost an easy contention to beat to death, except that you bring up the question of the selective eye.  I do not think that an unstaged event which is captured in 1/250th to 1/1000th of a second involves a lot of biased forethought.

I think to contend otherwise by inserting a "never" is just silly.

I also anticipate the totally irrelevant argument that an editorial decision to print one authentic image over another authentic image has anything to do with the authenticity of the image.  Pure bolognaise, as far as the pictures and videos go.

The written word, on the other hand, I agree almost inevitably involves the personality and biases of the writer -- the source of the old adage "Don't believe anything you read," with the more questionable addenda "and only half of what you see."

The universe, in it's amusing way, has endowed most of us with functional crap detectors.  Serious journalists attempt to cut through the crap.  Frivolous journalists exploit the crap.  There is very little crap attached to unstaged documentation of what is front of one's face in the instant it is before one.

Basically, I reject the notion of the impossibility of objectivity.  And Schroedinger's cat was HIS problem, not the cat's.

Best, Jimbeaux )

[This message has been edited by oceanvu2 (01-14-2009 01:28 AM).]

Ron
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15 posted 01-13-2009 10:37 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Sorry to come in late, but can't cameras be an unbiased news source?

Only if they give a 360 degree view, Jim, and have been running since time began. Otherwise, you won't know what's happening behind the camera and, often more importantly, you won't know what was happening before the cameras started to roll. You can, of course, choose to decide that perspective and cause are irrelevant for any given photographed event?

You make that decision subjectively, of course.

quote:
The universe, in it's amusing way, has endowed most of us with functional crap detectors.

Yea? Based on tabloid sales figures, Jim, I could have to guess most are broken. Based on personal experience, I think everyone's detector is probably mangled beyond redemption. At best, they only work selectively.


Stephanos
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16 posted 01-13-2009 11:22 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I think rather than pit obectivity against subjectivity, since uninvolvement is impossible, we should ask the difference between bias and something like commitment.  In other words, the self-same principles are sometimes good and sometimes not, depending upon context.

Stephen        
oceanvu2
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17 posted 01-14-2009 01:22 AM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Yeesh, I was trying to make a non-metaphysical statement about if you take a picture of something, it's probably there.  It didn't have to be there from time immemorial, it only had have to have been there when the photo was taken.

On "crap detectors," yes Ron, you're right.  I'm a "smart rat" you're a "smart rat" and Stephanos might be the "smartest rat" of them all.  Occasionally I forget that most people are really, really "STUPID RATS!"  

It's painful.  I know some things about some things, and I know I don't know a damned thing about most things.  But I was sort of talking about people who can distinguish their butt from their elbow, forgetting they are in the minority.

When I express OPINIONS, I try to express informed opinions, informed through experience or somewhat less informed through research.  I try to learn from those who disagree with me, which is almost everone, and I have no particular need to be "right."  I also, like all "smart rats," feel no particular need to put up with fools.

Just wondering:  Do you accept that there might an objective reality, whether or not we're in touch with it all the time, or have you an alternative view?

In accordance with recent thread suggestions, I am never going to post another link, which I don't know how to do anyway, and simply declare myself the ultimate authority.

Laughing, Jimbeaux  
moonbeam
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18 posted 01-14-2009 03:41 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
There is no such thing as an unbiased news source. Nor can there be.

I missed this.

You are quite right Ron.

I should have said:

I know Bob and Balladeer have mentioned it before, but I've found that for lack of bias, unsensational, unhyped reporting this: http://www.csmonitor.com/

is about as good as it gets Karen.
Ron
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19 posted 01-14-2009 07:56 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Yeesh, I was trying to make a non-metaphysical statement about if you take a picture of something, it's probably there. It didn't have to be there from time immemorial, it only had have to have been there when the photo was taken.

There's an old movie I always liked, Jim, called "Absence of Malice," starring Sally Fields and Paul Newman. Near the end of the movie, the journalist that Sally Fields plays is being interviewed by one of her colleagues. It goes something like this:

"I need to know how to describe your relationship with Gallagher. Mac said to quote you directly. You can say whatever you want."

"Just . . . say we were involved."

"That's true, isn't it?"

"No. But it's accurate."

Your hypothetical photograph, Jim, is probably accurate as hell. But someone decided what to shoot, what angle to shoot it from, and just as importantly, they decided what not to shoot. Some would contend that the best lie is just a truth removed from its context, and I think photography is as vulnerable to that as any other kind of reporting. Usually, of course, the result isn't even really a lie; it's just someone's version of their truth.

So, to answer your question, no, I don't believe there is a truly objective reality. If someone else isn't lying to us, we're lying to ourselves.
Essorant
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20 posted 01-14-2009 10:37 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

But the presence of subjectivity doesn't mean objectivity is not still present too.  

I would argue that it is just as inevitable for human work to have some objectivity as it is for it to have some subjectivity.  

Also who looks aright may see the "realm" of subjectivity is far smaller in the width of things, for it is confined only to things that have life and perception, probably the smallest minority of the universe    


[This message has been edited by Essorant (01-15-2009 12:00 AM).]

Stephanos
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21 posted 01-14-2009 10:46 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron, if you believe in God, shouldn't you say there's at least one trustworthy view (I'll sidestep the word 'objective' here), whether or not we can know it completely in the now?  We still can know more of it than we let on most of the time ... it chaffs against our own biased view so often that we suppress it.

You did say that you didn't believe in objective reality ... which is a far cry from saying we can't observe or know it rightly.

Stephen

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (01-14-2009 11:17 PM).]

Ron
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22 posted 01-14-2009 11:25 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But the presence of subjectivity doesn't mean objectivity is not still present too.

Right, Essorant. And just because a woman is pregnant doesn't mean she's also not pregnant, too?

No one is going to force you to stop twisting the English language. But no one is going to force me to accept your convolutions, either. A woman can't be a little bit pregnant, nor can she be partially objective about something . . . because the word that means partially objective is called subjective.

quote:
Ron, if you believe in God, shouldn't you say there's at least one trustworthy view (I'll sidestep the word 'objective' here), whether or not we can know it completely in the now.  We still can know more of it than we let on most of the time ... it chaffs against our own biased view so often that we suppress it.

Actually, Stephen, if you want to change the word from objective to trustworthy, I'd probably give quite a different answer. Those are not the same things, and indeed, I think they differ in much the same way as "true" and "accurate."

I honestly don't know if God is objective or not. I have my doubts. What I don't doubt is that everything we know about God is necessarily known subjectively. That, I suspect, is why so many get it so wrong.


Essorant
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23 posted 01-14-2009 11:41 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
A woman can't be a little bit pregnant


No, but she still has more to her than just her pregnancy, Ron.  In fact a lot more.  


Stephanos
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24 posted 01-14-2009 11:47 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron,

Just curious here, you certainly wouldn't call God's view "parochial" would you?  

Stephen
 
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