Prompted by “There’s No Such Thing as Unbiased Journalism, So Stop Pretending”: http://reason.com/archives/2015/05/22/theres-no-such-thing-as-unbiased-journal
“If you’re an intellectually curious person—and if you’re a journalist, let’s assume that you are—you are likely to have embraced a number of notions about how the world works, how it should work and who should be running it. This is natural. It’s inevitable, then, that most journalists have formed some opinions about partisan politics.
It’s unrealistic to expect that even the most conscientious journalist can wholly divorce his or her professional work from his or her philosophical positions. And even if that person were to put forth the sincerest effort possible, biases are likely to manifest in the focus and tone of his or her work.”
When most people mention journalistic bias, they are tuned in with the thrust of the prompting article. Years ago, I read about 70% of mainstream media personalities being registered Democrats. I heard accusations of intentionally subtle bias during image selection (e.g. unfavorable image of political rightist), story selection (e.g. ignoring a poor economy during a leftist presidency, but strongly pursuing the issue against a rightist one), story placement (e.g. favorable political rightist story tucked away in the lesser reached areas of the news), and other story element presentation.
Of course, political leftists refute those accusations, and the “sane” world continues to complexly churn. After all, who is going to report mainstream media bias to effectively rally the undeniable power of the sufficiently organized masses?
Never to be pretentious about it, but the main advantage (thanks to a unique — never condescendingly better — path in life) of my journal is a completely honest (so radical, yet intentionally perfectly logically complete and grounded — so sadly radical) view that includes literally shattering the notion of an unbiased media. Obviously feel free to refute the following accusation (actually a petition for young and honorable journalists to correct their industry for the critical public’s need to know and therefore community stability), but logic (factual truth) will not even come close to being on your side when opposing me here — and my ‘internal reason abuse meter’ is extremely sensitive (so spare us the spin, etc.)
Not only can I prove deeply serious (not subtle) media bias, I can identify a fundamental conflict of interest rendering mainstream media as effectively state-run media (strictly contradicting the presented notion of a “free press” in the “land of the free”).
Let us conduct a thought experiment. Imagine two neighboring columns. Each is a timeline starting back in 1937 (when the Marihuana Tax Act effectively began Cannabis Prohibition — and marijuana was acceptably formally spelled with an “h” replacement of “j”) and continuing through this very day (cannabis is the scientific term for marijuana, if unclear).
In the left column, we imagine all mainstream media articles, radio spots, and videos pertaining to cannabis.
In the right column, we imagine the whole truth regarding cannabis during that same temporal span. This column includes all prohibitionist propaganda (e.g. Reefer Madness, weak suggestive science demonstrably converted to tough-talking affirmations, changes to the law, etc.) Also included are the thousands of studies confirming cannabis is beneficial, government reports and committee recommendations conflicting with the prohibition mindset, etc.)
I am too busy these days to actually make a web page containing those two columns, so that remains the reason for keeping this a thought experiment. However, feel free to make such a comparison (and please let me know about it). As someone close to this issue for several years, I exercise perfect confidence in concluding those two columns would line up with a deeply serious favor towards prohibitionist proponents over that duration. Nothing unbiased about those results, but the real shocker here is the obvious reason for that bias — a reason that nobody apparently mentions (nonetheless engages in serious discussion until remedy is applied critically for public safety).
There is no secret in concluding the mainstream media often reports tragic events. There is no secret in understanding the main and continuous source of “newsworthy” information about tragic events is our government.
The professional term in the journalism industry is “access”. If you are a journalist, but do not have access to newsworthy information (especially fresh information that your journalistic competitors do not have), you are not really a journalist — and you better have a backup career plan. To sustain a healthy journalistic career path, that means establishing and maintaining healthy relationships with (i.e. access to) government personnel. Biting the informational hand that feeds is unwise, if you care about that key access, so mainstream journalistically opposing dominant government forces rarely happens (unless public exposure defies mainstream media reporting to a degree necessitating honest reporting for credible image sustainment).
Cannabis Prohibition exists, because cannabis (according to prohibitionist supported government statistics) is about 70% of Certain Drug Prohibition. To no longer “interpret” the Commerce Clause to lawfully sanction Cannabis Prohibition is to largely end the war on some drugs — a serious cash cow for law enforcement, so powerful self-interest groups on behalf of people claiming to only enforce the law (never get involved in legislative decisions) get involved in legislative decisions.
Because the case for ending Cannabis Prohibition is literally a “slam dunk” one — basically the prohibition is unconstitutional, ineffective, expensive, destructive, and experimental scientifically unwarranted — raising public awareness online has caused an increase in public sentiment towards ending Cannabis Prohibition. The only force working against that increase are law enforcement groups, but given the agonizingly slow pace for public sanity to take hold and end “reefer madness” on the obvious basis that it has been “law madness” from “reason madness” for several decades, there is another force at powerful work — the mainstream media.
Decoupling the reliance upon tragic events to secure an audience from the actual exercise of journalistic integrity is publicly critical. Otherwise, reason abuse is crushingly wielded (without balancing opposition) by the “unbiased” mainstream media against public safety — the public obviously being the group that law enforcement has sworn an oath to serve and protect.