T Nation

Unbiased News Source?

Which, if any, news source do you consider unbiased?

I think The Economist is about as down the middle as I read.

I only read human events. They give me all the liberal bashing I need.

It depends. I find financial news sources to be pretty unbiased. I would add the Wall Street Jornal to the list as well. Other than that, I try and balance Fox News with CNN or the majors.

I also subscribe to Newsweek but can barely get though it most of the time as it is incredibly biased. I think listing to and reading the libs helps me more deeply understand my own position. Acutally, now that think about it I probably get more lib news than conservative news.

There is no unbiased news source. Anyone who tells you they are unbiased is at least lying to themselves, and obviously lying to you. The most honest reporter would acknowledge their biases.

As much as anyone can try not to be biased, it comes out. Everything we experience is filtered through our beliefs. That is why two different people give completely different accounts of the same event.

BBC for American issues (yes, they’re liberal, but they’re still DAMN professional and rarely sensationalist).

WSJ for economics.

Foreign Affairs for… foreign affairs.

A basic problem is, just about every student in journalism school (which by the way in most universities and overall has the second lowest entry SAT scores of any major and, when the test is taken, the second lowest exit GRE scores) in studies cite as their motivation for becoming a journalist that they “want to change the world.”

Now, you don’t “change the world” by just reporting the facts as they are.

Students in journalism school also self-report voting and self-identifying overwhelmingly with one political party, as to the professors in journalism school. Each can either find sources for this themselves or guess themselves which end of the spectrum they overwhelmingly belong to, and therefore what directions it is that they want to use their positions to “change the world.”

So long as “changing the world” is the almost-invariable motivation for being a journalist, rather than the motivation being a desire to get the facts out accurately and in a neutral and professional way that gives people all the relevant information, spin and slant will be the norm.

[quote]The Mage wrote:
There is no unbiased news source. Anyone who tells you they are unbiased is at least lying to themselves, and obviously lying to you. The most honest reporter would acknowledge their biases.

As much as anyone can try not to be biased, it comes out. Everything we experience is filtered through our beliefs. That is why two different people give completely different accounts of the same event.[/quote]

Absolutely spot on.

There is no such thing as an unbiased news source. By the very fact that humans have beliefs and emotions means that everything that is experienced is filtered through a bias.

This does not mean that news cannot be reported objectively by sticking to the tenants of journalistic integrity – keeping opinions out of the report and not appealing to emotion, etc. Most TV news reports will fail this test simply because it is in human nature to convey expression, even slight, in speech.

The best news agencies will be honest about their bias or any other conflicts of interest and will treat the audience intelligently without the need to dumb down information. Typically, I only care about who? what? when? where? how? Analysis and commentary – the why? – is not news.

That said, the best commentary is absolute bias consistently framed from some central idea or world view. In this respect it is the viewers responsibility to gage the validity of the opinions and make up his own mind.

People who are incapable of this are the easiest to manipulate which is why agencies like FOX, et al can even exist.

Since there is no unbiased news source, the best thing to do is identify the bias so you can filter it. So go to a familiar source and filter the bias…Start on the back page a read forward.

[quote]dhickey wrote:
I find financial news sources to be pretty unbiased.
[/quote]

I disagree. Oil prices have fallen about 30% since July. In fact, oil is trading for under $104/bl as I type this. But you don’t see that in the news. But if oil went up $5/bl, it would be front page stuff.

Same thing with the dollar, it’s risen about %25 against the Euro since July, but you don’t hear a thing about it.

No one reports the good news, and it seems to be a feeding frenzy when there is even slightly bad news.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
dhickey wrote:
I find financial news sources to be pretty unbiased.

I disagree. Oil prices have fallen about 30% since July. In fact, oil is trading for under $104/bl as I type this. But you don’t see that in the news. But if oil went up $5/bl, it would be front page stuff.

Same thing with the dollar, it’s risen about %25 against the Euro since July, but you don’t hear a thing about it.

No one reports the good news, and it seems to be a feeding frenzy when there is even slightly bad news. [/quote]

I find this to be true of mainstream media but not for shows, sites, papers, and magazines dedicated to economics or finance.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
dhickey wrote:
I find financial news sources to be pretty unbiased.

I disagree. Oil prices have fallen about 30% since July. In fact, oil is trading for under $104/bl as I type this. But you don’t see that in the news. But if oil went up $5/bl, it would be front page stuff.

Same thing with the dollar, it’s risen about %25 against the Euro since July, but you don’t hear a thing about it.

No one reports the good news, and it seems to be a feeding frenzy when there is even slightly bad news. [/quote]

Happy things don’t sell newspapers.

And yes, there is no such thing as objective journalism. We can try as hard as we want, but the way it’s written up and who wrote it will dictate who is talked to and what’s put in.

The best anyone can do is try to stay in the middle as much as possible.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
dhickey wrote:
I find financial news sources to be pretty unbiased.

I disagree. Oil prices have fallen about 30% since July. In fact, oil is trading for under $104/bl as I type this. But you don’t see that in the news. But if oil went up $5/bl, it would be front page stuff.

Same thing with the dollar, it’s risen about %25 against the Euro since July, but you don’t hear a thing about it.

No one reports the good news, and it seems to be a feeding frenzy when there is even slightly bad news. [/quote]

I like how the MSM has been reporting the latest unemployment figures. The (historically low) rate of 6.1% is reported as “the highest rate in 5 years!!!”

I think this means that President Bush has done a tremendous job with the economy. But, that is somehow never mentioned.

I’ve given up on finding a single unbiased news source. They may exist, but the fact is that as a general rule, getting “just the news” ends up being totally boring. So I use the “shotgun” method (random sampling) to get news from wherever it is available when I feel like paying attention. Maybe CNN, or Fox, or the AP, or NPR, whatever. I’ve simply learned to accept that most sources will have a bias, however slight, so I rarely take my information from any one source.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
dhickey wrote:
I find financial news sources to be pretty unbiased.

I disagree. Oil prices have fallen about 30% since July. In fact, oil is trading for under $104/bl as I type this. But you don’t see that in the news. But if oil went up $5/bl, it would be front page stuff.

Same thing with the dollar, it’s risen about %25 against the Euro since July, but you don’t hear a thing about it.

No one reports the good news, and it seems to be a feeding frenzy when there is even slightly bad news. [/quote]

If we’re talking CNBC here you are definitely correct. Most of the anchors and commentators have very little actual knowledge on almost every subject and god forbid they actually have to think about something…watch out. Bloomberg Television is actually very good and pretty much up to the minute. Financial Times is a good read and so is Investors Business Daily. My favorite monthly read is Fortune Small Business. Not a news source per se, but a great insight into the current issues that small business owners are dealing with and I find this to be more insightful into reading the actual temperature of the American economy.

You could always just watch CSPAN and see what’s happening for yourself. Although this may have been responsible for me needing be medicated now. Maybe you want to get drunk if your going to watch CSPAN

[quote]zephead4747 wrote:
I only read human events. They give me all the liberal bashing I need.[/quote]

That explains a lot. Edited by Jed Babbin, stopped being a serious publication about then.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
A basic problem is, just about every student in journalism school (which by the way in most universities and overall has the second lowest entry SAT scores of any major and, when the test is taken, the second lowest exit GRE scores) in studies cite as their motivation for becoming a journalist that they “want to change the world.”

Now, you don’t “change the world” by just reporting the facts as they are.

Students in journalism school also self-report voting and self-identifying overwhelmingly with one political party, as to the professors in journalism school. Each can either find sources for this themselves or guess themselves which end of the spectrum they overwhelmingly belong to, and therefore what directions it is that they want to use their positions to “change the world.”

So long as “changing the world” is the almost-invariable motivation for being a journalist, rather than the motivation being a desire to get the facts out accurately and in a neutral and professional way that gives people all the relevant information, spin and slant will be the norm.[/quote]

I think suprisingly little of it is by design or on purpose, which seems to be what you’re implying. Journalism is just overwhelmingly populated by people of centrist to leftist orientation, and they take certain things for granted. This is especially true on cultural and social issues, where certain orthodoxies (abortion, multiculturalism) are just accepted.

This article (crappy beginning aside) gets it well: http://www.culture11.com/node/31714

IF (a big if) I watch news on tv, I tend to match opposites together–left wing channel vs. right wing channel. That means I hear both sides in all their biased glory and can make up my own mind. :slight_smile:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
IF (a big if) I watch news on tv, I tend to match opposites together–left wing channel vs. right wing channel. That means I hear both sides in all their biased glory and can make up my own mind. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Just watch Fox News. It is nothing but left wingers arguing against right wingers. (Some people don’t know about the left wingers on Fox.)

I have a friend who is very conservative, and that is his argument against Fox. He would rather hear an intelligent debate then a fight. So he does like BBC news instead. He recognizes their liberal bias, but finds they do allow people to voice their opinions in a more intelligent way.

I haven’t really watched as much of it myself, so this is not my opinion.

I read a variety of sources online, attempting to make sure they are legitimate news sources. A variety is key. It is also interesting to read the same news story rewritten by differing news outlets, and the variety of headlines that sometimes doesn’t even match whats in the article, or takes it of context.