Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/17

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Subject: [Leica] Re: The Economist (WAS: Kerry Who)
From: locke at (Greg Locke)
Date: Fri Sep 17 06:51:55 2004

So true Nathan,

As a journalist I never claim to be un-bias... But I am most certainly fair
and balanced to all sides.
Everybody gets a fair shake ...or as my father says, "enough rope to hang

As you say, the simple act of choosing which stories to cover and which not,
reflects your interests and sympathies anyway. You cover it because you
thing it is important and the public should know about it.

But as long as both you and your reader/viewer know this you can present all
sides of a story without bias AND still offer analysis and explanation based
on honest and freely given information gathered from all sources.

This doesn't mean you simply report verbatim what each side says and claim
to be unbiased but you do your research to find out if what they are saying
is true and accurate. If it is not then you have the responsibility to
inform your readers. 

That's not being bias, that's being truthful in providing the service to the
public that is required of a professional journalist. Simply relaying data
and information from a source is not enough, a good journalist will tell the
reader WHY the source is saying what he is saying.

In the past twenty years I have worked with many journalists from North
America and Europe.
The Europeans seem to understand this. With a few exceptions, US and
Canadian (CBC excepted) seem to think that journalism is some form of
national cheerleading exercise and/or a PR company for whichever political

One of the top stories today in Canada is how CanWest Global, a media
conglomerate with right wing owners, The Aspers, has been changing the words
in stories from AP and Reuters to reflect its political sentiments. 

Example: AP and Reuters stories from Iraq have had the words "rebels" and
"insurgents" changed to "terrorists" by CanWest editors.

What this has done is take an UNBIASED and neutral news reports and altered
with bias political language that reflects the owners political views.

It might not be so bad if they had taken the Reuters and AP bylines off and
used their own but they kept them on to give the reports the appearance of
legitimacy from a NEUTRAL news gathering organization.

Greg Locke
St. John's, Newfoundland

> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
> [] On 
> Behalf Of Nathan Wajsman
> Sent: Friday, September 17, 2004 2:25 AM
> Nothing is really unbiased. Every editor has an agenda. The 
> bias expresses itself in overt ways (such as endorsing a 
> candidate) or more often covert (e.g. in selection of stories 
> to cover, pictures to publish etc.). I prefer the political 
> orientation of the media to be out in the open. 

In reply to: Message from nathan.wajsman at (Nathan Wajsman) ([Leica] Re: The Economist (WAS: Kerry Who))