We Deserve Fair, Unbiased News Coverage

Prairie Gleanings

Today's news outlets seem more interested in catering to liberal or conservative leanings. Just give me the news!

Published on: May 25, 2011
A couple months ago, I read a news article about Newsweek merging with “The Daily Beast” news website. As part of the merger, Tina Brown, former editor of The New Yorker, took the helm as editor in chief of both news outlets.

The article was quite enthusiastic about Brown taking the helm, saying she would likely push the magazine back to its news roots. When I saw an offer for a free trial subscription, I excitedly signed up.

Just two weeks in, my enthusiasm has faded. Apparently, I foolishly assumed Brown would bring the magazine an objective, news-driven focus. I was wrong.

I was a Newsweek subscriber a few years ago. I let it expire when I began to notice a strong liberal slant on nearly every page. Today, the slant seems even worse. About one third of the magazine is filled with editorial pieces with a heavy bias toward the Democratic Party.

If that’s not bad enough, the publication doesn’t even adhere to strict news writing style in its hard news pieces. FYI: when writing a hard news article, the writer should not be a part of the story. It should be told entirely in the third person, using objective phrasing at every turn.

Yesterday, I was reading an article about the Taliban. I was shocked when two thirds of the way through, the author injected himself into the article. Saying a source “told me” this. From the very start of the piece, I assumed the author was reporting on the topic firsthand. Injecting a first-person pronoun only sullies the article by reminding me about the reporter’s presence.

I’m picking on Newsweek here, but this is a nationwide problem with the media. Yes, Fox News is no better. The lines of editorial opinion and hard-hitting news pieces are getting  blurrier every day. While it’s tempting to turn choose between CNN or Fox News because you agree with one or the other, we must realize they are doing us a disservice.

With every piece of media, I check to see that both sides of the issue are represented. An editor told me long ago, if it’s a news story, there are two sides to it. Knowing both sides leads to better decision making. I encourage you to demand the same from news reports.

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