Saturday, March 05, 2005

Lies, lies and journalism

Dr. Clam said
I am asserting that no reportage is objective. I believe it is more valuable to read obviously subjective reportage from various sources, aware that they are subjective, and try to disentagle the reality from the biases of the reporters, than it is to look for a truly 'objective' source of news in some mare's nest on Big Rock Candy Mountain. This way you not only learn the 'facts' but just as important for any political issue, what the different players believe the facts to be, and the way these facts fit into their worldview.

There is hiding somewhere here an important difference between our thinking. I find, it can be very erroneous to even take at face value what an article (biased or otherwise) says about what the different players believe the facts to be. Journalists all too often pick and choose which bits to show to not so obviously spin the article such that even what major players say has been doctored. I am finding that I try to model the reality, and try to explain to myself the factors that are making all these journalists and politicians lie, and what end they are trying to achieve with those lies as opposed to the truth.

1 comment:

Dr. Clam said...

You are correct that reporters all too frequently misrepresent and distort the views of major figures (e.g., the Anglican Bishop of Sydney. But such reports can tell you how the sector of society that they themselves belong to regards those figures. Journalists reflect in their biasses a certain sector of society, one which is usually influential and important. We are fortunate that the net has evolved to such a state that we can read the real words - or the revised for publication words! ;)- of the public figures themselves.
Although there are many layers of spin and dissimulation, I am going to go out on a limb on the basis of your other posting and say that we actually agree with each other! I think we are arguing about semantics, because I, as an idealist, would make 'objective' the name of a journey, rather than a destination, and resist its application to any real entity.