And how it can be rebuilt.
Covid was the last straw. I genuinely don't understand how a generation of journalists decided their role was to parrot and amplify the government line - even to point of participating in and celebrating de-facto censorship of dissenting positions on lockdowns, masks, and mRNA mandates. It was (and still is) incredible to behold. I always thought of journalists as curious, skeptical, critical thinkers regardless of political persuasion... I thought uncritically printing the headline of a Pfizer press release without asking any follow up questions was the kind of low-skill work they *didn't* want to do. I guess I was wrong but I still don't understand how.
From my perspective as an elderly moderate Democrat, I completely agree with your second point. I'm astonished by the magnitude of apparent blindness regarding the partisan tone (and often also content) of the left-of-center press.
There are some additional points to be made. The first is that when someone on the looney right makes a controversial, self-serving, statement, they are branded as "conservative" as if anything that they said has anything to do with conservative ideology. However, when someone on the looney left makes a controversial, self-serving, statement, they are branded as....actually it doesn't get covered in the mainstream media.
Second, as someone with a doctorate in the biological sciences who understands that global warming is occurring and is dangerous, the need for vaccination, etc., I take exception to journalists who confuse scientific theory with dogma. I am remined of the liberal arts majors whom I taught as a graduate student who had trouble meeting their science requirement by passing "biology for poets". With the exception of a few outlets like AAAS' Science magazine, science reporting is the proverbial "vast wasteland".
Let's not forget that mainstream (i.e. leftist) journos see "moral clarity" (i.e. shilling for the Democrat Party Line) as more important to their job than objectivity.
Good article, but I think the problem is more nefarious today than just liberal bias. The mainstream news media including Hollywood acts as a persuasion enterprise for Democrats and against Republicans. It used to enhance democracy; now it corrupts it.
Great article. I think the liberals have a hard time comprehending that the phenomenon at hand can simultaneously be a right wing concern and also a correct and well founded one. Ever since Trump nobody ever wants to concede when "they have a point". I think you handled this aspect in a graceful and reasonable way. What I would like to see now is a broad spectrum reflection as to the level of crisis that the present media collapse portends. Are we in the midst of an all out constitional crisis for lack of free press? On the one hand nobody gets sent to prison or to Alaska for publishing bad ideas but on the other hand we routinely destroy poeples lives and careers for putting words to perfectly good ideas. I hope to see persuation publish some peices that address this concern (in re the constitution) cause it's bloody well out of my depth. If anybody on here knows of any good writing on this topic please let me know! Meanwhile keep up the great and valuable work.
Your article is good but it certainly appears that "bias" has transitioned to "lying" in recent years. The "lying" is interspersed with good and biased journalism which makes a bit harder to detect. This results in intelligent folks thinking it is only a wee bit of bias. Yes it is important to get out of one's bubble otherwise the propaganda does its job.
The media is dominated by the far left. That is not news at this point. Well understood fact is more like it.
The writer presumes that journalists believe that objectivity is a desirable goal. Journalism schools increasingly teach that it is the job not to provide both sides, but to explain the correct side. Hance the emphasis on characterizing “mis”information vs information. The temptation is just too great for journalists to decide the difference for themselves.
There's some confusion of terminology here. I see no evidence that people don't trust "Journalism" as an activity; they don't trust many journalists to 𝘥𝘰 Journalism. It's like calling people anti-Science when what's really going on is that they don't trust the wielding of Science as a partisan cudgel. People who don't trust Dr. Fauci still take aspirin and believe their MRI results.
Also, at least in the earlier part of the essay there's a conflating of "the media" with "the mainstream media". People who don't trust the 'Times may trust Fox or OAN (whether they should or not is a separate matter). I imagine this conflation reflect your own bias, which is not a big deal but does color the correlation of these surveys to the state of the Union.
That said, I agree with both your prescriptions -- that newsrooms should seek ideological diversity and that news consumers should practice skepticism. Once we're in the neighborhood, though, I'll add a couple of things:
First, more important than ideological diversity is for journalists to internalize what used to be the journalistic professional ethic of truth and accuracy, impartiality, independence, etc. What we see instead is brazen substitution of "struggle" ethics for those of journalism.
Next, it's worth pointing out that the media get all sorts of things wrong, often significantly wrong, even apart from the problem of bias (I refer you to the phenomenon of Gell-Mann Amnesia). I assume it's because Journalism is 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥. In any case, it means news consumers need to train their skepticism not only on possible bias but on possible ignorance and stupidity.
This is both fair and helpful. The blame on Trump, however, is overemphasized, the media's bias has made him look credible. Blame that bias for part of his popularity. And the NY Times and New Yorker may get the highest marks, or lowest; they have been terrible.
The recent Twitter expose on the Hunter Biden laptop story suspension combined with the dearth of coverage by "the mainstream media" says it all.
I agree that left-leaning media should examine their bias and actively work to include ideologically diverse opinions. I hope right-leaning media are going through the same process of reckoning. And here is my point: I don't know whether right-leaning media are going through such self-analysis. I don't know because I don't read them. What I am saying is that the responsibility of getting properly informed is also the reader's, not only the journalist's. Journalists are humans and as such they show bias. The obvious solution is to read media from across the ideological spectrum. This is easier said than done. Research has shown that when a reader is confronted with a media analysis that doesn't fit this reader's worldview, the reader is more likely to stop reading and move to an article that aligns better with the readers' own bias.
Guess this has nothing to do with right leaning news media since... Reagan ... beating this "liberal media bad" drum while simultaneously we're not talking about the concentration of conservatives in these organizations? This is a canard. There's a deliberate strategy on the part of right wing media to paint *everyone* else as bad as a means of partitioning their own consumers off into a bubble that listens only to them.
Blaming mainstream media organizations is victim blaming at this point.