A Dialogue: Media Bias

What is the media: The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively.

What is the purpose of the media: To serve as the fifth estate holding our politicians’ and other elites’ feet to the fire in the interest of plebeian citizens by fact checking and reporting the truth when communicating stories and analysis.

What is the media used for: Our mainstream network and cable news outlets, along with countless websites, serve the interests of the 1% by shining the “truth” through a curved capitalist lens.

But how?: Through the overtones and undertones expressed in every word and image.

So the media “message” is politically bent?: Of course. It serves the interest of the rich and powerful who own mass media.

How does it do this? It all looks on the up-an-up to me: Consider Gramsci’s cultural hegemony concept, in it’s best description:

“the ‘spontaneous’ consent given by the great masses of the population to the general direction imposed on social life by the dominant fundamental group; this consent is ‘historically’ caused by the prestige (and consequent confidence) which the dominant group enjoys because of its position and function in the world of production.”

Can we escape this media influence?: Of course not. We politically and culturally swim in it’s soup.

How can we change this?: If we recognize that there is a opaque pane in front of the truth.

Well, how do we get everyone else to see the truth: Organize, Comrade. Organize…

Straight Media Members Left of Center: Is Their News Coverage?

It’s a fact that most people in what we consider the media are educated, white, and some would even say “elitist.” These 3 demographics point to one conclusion: reporters, their bosses, and news commentators/op-ed writers are mostly left of the average American in regards to their political beliefs. But is their straight news coverage biased? If you would ask a member of the media, they would reply with an emphatic “No!” But can they take their held convictions out of their news coverage even if they put forth an effort to do so?

Now I’m talking about straight media, not cable talk shows that are clearly and openly biased like those found on FOX news or MSNBC. So shouldn’t we take into account this left-of-center bias when reading even straight news? And what about the talented journalists efforts to maintain objectivity?

Just remember one thing not too many people know: In places like Europe, all media, for the most part, are openly biased and people shop for the media that caters to their previously held beliefs. There is no effort to maintain objectivity their amongst most media.

So shouldn’t we be able to be as discerning as the Europeans in such matters and take into account media bias when we consume it?

Here is a good op-ed in the Post by the Ombudsman regarding such matters and especially concerning those conservatives who perceive this leftist-bias even in straight media. He gives some good things to think about, even for us leftists.

Read Here.