Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To bias or not to bias? Is that the question?

I found a fascinating little site while browsing the web in a homework-avoidance exercise today. The site, dubbed www.newsy.com, strives to collect news stories from media all across the globe and place them side by side their own news analysis, which they claim are produced via the joint effort of a diverse team of reporters to better eliminate bias. They even analyze the content of popular blogs, and offer their translation of those, too.
Is this the future of news? Their founder seems to think so. Their blog is exceedingly positive about the future of their fledging company.
It’s an interesting approach. Rather than reporting news, Newsy reports on what other news sources are reporting. Confusing? Maybe. But Newsy’s blog claims they are making the news of the future, which they claim will become increasingly biased, less inscrutable.
There is a faction—one in which I tentatively place myself, though I strongly dislike predicting the future—that believes the news media will continue to grow more “biased,” as Newsy put it. As technology has made information more globally accessible, we are beginning to access and learn from media from other cultures. A textbook from another of my classes suggests this has allowed American media to dominate and dismantle other cultures, but I think we may be inheriting some foreign tricks as well.
The American press subscribes to the Liberal Model media system—the usual suspicious of everyone and loyal to no one system we uphold like a sacred emblem. The success of this model has been in decline for some time. On the other hand, a model from northern and central European countries, known as the Democratic Corporatist system, has maintained their profits. Journalists from these systems openly adhere to a certain faction, and throw out ideas of balance and objectivity.
For all this talk of American media taking over the world, I can see an argument for the Corporatist system. People like to feel they are part of a larger whole, and subscribing to a certain strain of media can help reinforce those beliefs. I would argue that some media producers, like Fox, are leaning this direction. And I don’t blame them. The Corporatist model makes money. Though there are aspects of such a system that I like less than fingernails on chalk boards, I also like food. And so do many other humans.
So is there a place in society for services like Newsy? It will be interesting to watch this site, and possible others like it, develop over the next few years.

1 comment:

  1. That's funny, I just tweeted about the same survey receiving two different titles from Google and NPR. Google's article was called "Americans Don't Know Much About Religion" and NPR took their own direction, calling it "Atheists and Agnostics Know More About Religion than the Religious." Just from the titles we can see the spin NPR is going to take that Google left out. What an interesting website! I predict the future will have many similar!