Monday, July 24, 2006

Bias

Knowing that Anderson has always said he "doesn't like to take sides" I always try to look at the way he reports and the segments he has on the show more closely to see if he really does present both sides. Sometimes, it's hard to do that but I try to watch for it.

Usually, I think he does a fair job of this and I don't really normally see any glaring biases. (I'm sure the people over at Fox may disagree.) However, I've noticed some people on his blog over the past week making comments about his reporting and the reports on CNN, in general, being slanted towards Israel in their coverage. I guess since I watch a lot of CNN I have to disagree with those comments. People keep complaining that they aren't showing the Lebanese side or the civilian casualties as much in Lebanon as in Israel. They do show this and they show how it is effecting some of the people there as well. But just how much can they show when they don't have a lot of access?

Also, after reading Charlie Moore's (CNN producer) blog entry about their trip with the officials from Hezbollah, I can understand a bit more why they have a hard time covering that aspect. In his entry, Charlie reported that the tour of destruction by Israeli bombs and rockets seemed a bit staged. There were commenters on the blog responding saying how bias it was of him to report that. I personally didn't think so. Is reporting the truth of what you actually see bias? When does something become bias? It seems to me that reporting the facts as opposed to opinion is what makes something bias or not. They were accused of not reporting what Israel said as propgranda too. Is this because it's not propaganda or is it a bias?

So the question is, where is the line between reporting what you see and holding back for fear of being bias? Do you hold back to not seem bias or do you tell the whole story?

Thanks to Bcfraggle for the cap!

6 comments:

xtina said...

All stations are subtly biased IMO. Jon Klein did say CNN is "seeking to spend less time repording the news of the day and more on the emotionally gripping, character-driven narrative pegged to recent events." (NYT March'05) Anderson gives a wide angle view of a situation without latching on to an opinion. He, of all reporders, seeks facts - you can see the frustration in his face because he knows that people give their propaganda and he steers it back to facts whenever he can.
(I know some people don't like Harry Shearer's personality, but his blog specifically deals w/ media bias and he knows his stuff...)

Patti McCracken said...

I'm a reporter who trains journalists in Eastern Europe. What I tell these journalists, and what I hope I practice, is that you cannot always be objective, but you MUST always be fair. As many facts and as much context as possible.

shelse said...

I've been lurking here for a week or so reading your blog and now I've got something to say. I actually wrote a little bit in my blog this morning about this.

There is a bias in American news media, not just CNN, that is pro-Israeli. They do report both sides, however, whenever they mention something good about Hezbollah or somerthing bad about Israel, there is always a statement afterwards that sort of explains it away so that Israel always looks better. It's understandable with the War on Terror and the American links to Israel, but it is there. It's subtle, but it's there.

Sheryn said...

I loved that Anderson didn't hold back last night about Hezbollah's propaganda machine. CNN has been getting slack about not reporting the Lebonese side of things. What channel are these people watching? I know I watch alot of CNN but come now, I see both sides of the story.

I also liked that Anderson brought up the possible use of phosphorous by the Israeli military.

Is there a line? Probably. But that line tends to blur in the fog of war.

xtina said...

I, too think that CNN is on the side of Israel, because Hezballah has provoked so many attacks over the yrs. Even tho Israel is now on the "offensive," they still appear as the "good guys" against terrorism.

Marshall Darts said...

CNN's Broken News

CNN's coverage of the Israeli-Hezbollah crisis has been the most comprehensive of all the networks. You can see why when they show you the number of reporters they have stationed in the Israel-Lebanon area. They put up pictures of all of them and it looks like the geneological table of a strange family.

However, the also have the most irritating graphics of any network. They have "Breaking News" of events that happened yesterday. They show "News Alerts" in the late evening of things that everyone has seen throughout the day and early evening. They have "Developing Story" that they use each time a bomb lands or a casualty is reported. What do they expect that Story will develop into?

They won't let up on the graphics while feeding the public the same stories all day and night long. Then they wonder why cable outlets have such little credibility and audience share. People hear the same "Breaking News" three times within an hour and they are bound to start looking for the remote.

It's one thing to have fake advertising. It's a more serious breach of the public trust to have false "Breaking News, News Alerts, and Developing Stories". Leave the fake news to the "Daily Show with Jon Stewart. They're much better at it.