WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Reporting News from a Biased Point of View

Nov 18, 2014

The website Governing recently profiled the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, which, as the site reported, is covering local and state government “from an unabashedly ideological perspective.”

In this case, it’s a conservative perspective - the website also noted the Franklin Center has been one of the top recipients of money from groups tied to the billionaire Koch brothers.

Whether it’s a conservative or liberal bias, the Shop Talk panelists feel this is the wrong way to go about business.

Rich Moreno acknowledged it’s nothing new – many communities once had numerous newspapers, each with a particular political bias.  But he said there are far fewer outlets today and that means far fewer voices are being heard. He thinks it’s unfortunate so much money is being poured into advocacy journalism that pretends to be objective.

Jasmine Crighton said it’s useful to know which way a news organization leans politically. She said there are far too many websites that provide no information about their funding sources.  But she doesn’t like the idea of local newspapers or broadcast outlets providing biased news. 

Rich Egger thinks it harms democracy to present just one point of view.  He would prefer reporters present facts and trust that audience members are intelligent enough to make up their own minds.