Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bias in the eye of the beholder

A study of perceptions of bias in the media, which finds that the same news article can be seen as slanted in opposite ways by partisans on different sides of the issue (no surprise to neutral observers).

The article comments:

the hostile media effect seems to apply only to news sources that strive for balance. News reports from obviously biased sources usually draw fewer charges of bias. Partisans, it turns out, find it easier to countenance obvious propaganda than news accounts that explore both sides.

My view on this is that "obviously biased sources usually draw fewer charges of bias" because (1) one feels that something so obviously biased is likely to be seen as biased by neutral observers (unfortunately, this is often not true, because many people may not know enough about the subject to realized it's biased), and (2) complaining about obviously biased sources seems a waste of time; you know you have little chance of changing the minds of people like that.

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