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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Other Voices

    Student requests fact-based stories
    Bias has been part of the media for quite some time. Unfortunately, it’s not something that is going to change in the near future. However, with this being election season, and politics being the polarizing subject that it is, I would like to see intelligent and thought provoking journalism from the Wildcat staff. Articles that give details about those in politics and what they have done or not done might be a good starting point. Articles based almost solely on opinion should be avoided as they do little to inform the public and are often exaggerated or down right false. Let the readers form an opinion from your information rather than giving them an opinion and few details to work with. I look forward to seeing a high standard from the Wildcat as it is sorely needed.

    – Jude Fernando
    mechanical engineering junior

    Media coverage represents status quo
    No rational person can claim that the news media is completely neutral. So, how is the media biased? If we quickly consider which political parties are discussed in the media, the answer is clear: Democrats and Republicans run the media. Therefore, the media is remarkably moderate. But, many believe there is a liberal slant. Then, we have to ask ourselves: if the media has such a slant, why was Ralph Nader’s announcement to run for president ignored, condemned or outright mocked? (Daily Wildcat included) Why have Nader and the Green Party’s nominee, Cynthia McKinney, both undoubtedly liberal, been wholly absent from the media’s political discourse? Others may say there is a conservative bias. However, we see the news media equally disregarding the Libertarian’s Bob Barr and other rightist candidates and political parties. Some may see nothing wrong with this situation. Obama and McCain are the dominant candidates in this election, so they should get most of the attention, and they are. But with Barr and Nader polling around 5 percent each, they should be getting at least that amount in coverage, but they aren’t. Why?

    Let’s face it, McKinney, Nader, Barr and many other political leaders have ideas that threaten the current power structure of the entrenched Democrats and Republicans. Most of the journalists, editors, executives, etc. are sympathetic with one of these two major parties. They don’t want them vulnerable to possible fringe, “”spoiler”” parties come November. Therefore, they are prepared to exclude these underdogs from dialogue where popularity may rise. This exclusion is not only done in this election cycle, but as an institutionalized practice. Even with the two dominant ideologies seemingly having such control over the news media, we mustn’t forget that we’re really talking about corporations. Specifically a small handful of news corporations linked or owned by even bigger corporations. We must persist to recognize how our media is relegated to status quo ideologies and guided by the almighty dollar. These biases are overt, conventional and destructive to our freedom of speech and democracy. A moderate media is not always best.

    – Brian Hennigan
    history senior

    Democrat or Republican: media takes sides
    To argue that there is no media bias is both ignorant and na’ve. Everyone has an opinion, and it is humanly impossible not to project that opinion into even the most balanced news reports. As any researching psychologist can tell you, without taking precautions to virtually remove the experimenter from his/her project, he/she will unavoidably affect the outcome of the experiment with a biased expectation.

    That being said, it is equally ignorant to believe that our major media outlets show even the mere subtle bias we would hope from them. I here proffer a few statistics: while Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents make up 51% of the electorate vs. a Republican 38 percent, 39 percent of American adults believe that ABC, CBS and NBC have a left-wing bias, vs. 20 percent who believe it is conservative, according to a Rasmussen poll. Only 25 percent feel they are fair and balanced. Even more striking results were found when polling opinions of bias in the New York Times, Washington Post and local newspapers.

    Another Rasmussen poll indicates that Americans believe the media are favoring Barack Obama in this presidential race. On July 21 of this year, an astounding 49 percent believed that the media were actually helping his campaign, as opposed to only 14 percent who believed they were boosting John McCain. But instead of relying on statistics alone, let us take a look at prominent figures. Democratic Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell stated that the media coverage of Barack Obama throughout his campaign was “”embarrassing,”” calling MSNBC the “”the official network of the Obama campaign.”” Sen. Hillary Clinton, a more moderate Democrat than Obama, stated during the heat of her race that MSNBC had treated her campaign unfairly, and that Fox News was actually more balanced and fair. Others, on both the right and left, have already drawn similar conclusions. And while denying all accusations of demoting Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann for their extreme bias in covering this election, many believe that the recent “”relocation”” of these two anchors is in fact an effort to improve credibility for what is seen by many as the most far-left news network.

    A more in-depth look would reinforce such a conclusion among most fair-minded Americans. Just do a little research.

    – Jonathan Rutherford
    psychology senior

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