Author Topic: Press Neutrality  (Read 2626 times)

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Offline pimathbrainiac

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Press Neutrality
« on: June 09, 2014, 01:40:25 am »
The Net Neutrality issue got me thinking about something that I find a bit more intriguing: Press Neutrality.
The freedom of the press is one of the most ambiguous parts of the Bill of Rights. Colloquially, it means that the press can say what ever it desires, so far as it does not break from the truth or break the law in finding the truth (with the exception of specifically marked opinion shows and newspaper editorials).
That ambiguity leads to the bending of the truth to forward an agenda, be it conservative or liberal, Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian. This bending of the truth and the tendency for news sources, both right and left sided, to be one sided makes me wonder what was meant by "freedom of the press."
After careful thought, I reached this conclusion: freedom of the press means the freedom to give an uncensored truth, free from government tampering and censorship. It does not mean that the press can say what ever it desires, so long as part of the truth is told (with the exception of explicitly marked opinions).
The press should remain neutral in matters, giving the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, as far as its entire research can show. Sadly, this is not the case, and all press outlets are biased, be it the WSJ, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, Fox News, National Review, etc.
That said, one thing that should not happen is government controlling any part of the press, as this is very far from the press being neutral.
The problem with the press is the one-sidedness all the outlets have. Even those that claim to be "fair and balanced" are biased one way or another. The way bias happens is by mixing partial truths with opinions, and calling it fact. How does one get to the whole truth, with as little opinion as possible?
The answer, as readers/watchers/listeners of the press, is simple sounding but not so simple. The answer is to balance your outlets. For every CNN story you watch or read, you should watch or read the equivalent Fox News story. For every NPR story, an opposing version. For every New York Times story, an opposing version. This is a hard way to become informed, and sometimes one does not want to hear the other side, but it is important that one hears all the sides, whether there are two or two hundred.
It shouldn't be this way. News outlets should be neutral by obligation. They should remain neutral, and tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. One should be able to get the same, unbiased, story from every outlet.
But the freedom of the press should never be infringed.
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Offline Juju

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Re: Press Neutrality
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2014, 01:46:53 am »
Yeah, it's kinda hard to not be biased, especially in the US where everything could be categorized either Democrat or Republican.

The thing I do? Yes, you can always read the versions of two opposed networks. Another thing is to also get your fix of news from social networks, blogs and other third parties.

So yeah, read everything, make up your opinion and optionally share it to others.

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Offline harold

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Re: Press Neutrality
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 02:31:57 am »
It's funny, the last time such an idea was implemented (ie, press was only allowed to report truth), it was widely regarded as oppression of the press, because it means the government is telling the press what they can and cannot publish.
It's even funnier when you talk with, say, Chinese people. Turns out the strategy of using multiple sources doesn't cut it (at least not necessarily) - there is also a large amount of bias that they all share. "The West" often accuses China and the like of biased reporting, but what you don't hear is that they in turn also accuse us of it (because well, where would you hear? certainly not from the accused - which in itself shows they have a point). It's easy to think that only one of them must be right, but it's even more likely that all news everywhere is biased - there is no obvious reason for it not to be.
So really, what you need is not just multiple sources, but sources not based in the same country. Better yet, sources not based in the same alliance. For example RT and Al Jazeera, instead of just the usual "Commonwealth and US"-area sources. NK News, maybe not. I take a look sometimes, and it's interesting in its own way (you can read it for laughs), but as a news source it doesn't do much.
And even I suspect there will be news that everyone biases to roughly the same side. There's no guarantee that it averages out.
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Offline DJ Omnimaga

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Re: Press Neutrality
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 02:48:46 am »
In Quebec, we also have the issue about press networks that only try to attract an audience and make money from advertising. IIRC, Sun Media in Quebec isn't as biased when it comes to general news, but most of the time they make news about nothing or use misleading titles just so people open the link or buy the newspaper, and for politics it's hit and miss (some reporters tend to be heavily sovereignists, although some others tend to be critical of the government regardless of which side it is). In the west, I heard that Sun Media is very biased, though, and one TV channel even advertised itself as offering strong opinions.

This is why nowadays I also try to rely on multiple sources, although with the current Canadian government I always wondered if they weren't sometimes trying to limit certain things that medias can reveal to us.


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Re: Press Neutrality
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 03:03:03 am »
Yeah, well, the problem with regulating on telling he truth is that the government would have to be honest, otherwise it's indeed oppression of the press. The government can easily "change" the truth, for example in China, nothing happened in 1989, right? That's the truth according to the Chinese government.

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Offline bb010g

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Re: Press Neutrality
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2014, 08:54:13 am »
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Offline Princetonlion.tibd

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Re: Press Neutrality
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2014, 11:47:54 am »
The government can easily "change" the truth, for example in China, nothing happened in 1989, right? That's the truth according to the Chinese government.
China has bad freedom of press, according to a lesson I had this year.

It's even funnier when you talk with, say, Chinese people.
Seems ironic... thankfully I don't talk about things like that...




« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 03:19:01 pm by Princetonlion.tibd »