Wednesday, February 04, 2009

"Is it possible to have media without bias?"

Last week I was asked in another class, "Is it possible to have media without bias?" My answer: No. Every story told has at least two sides to it. When you tell your friends about a conflict, you're side is explained, but what about the others story? In history, often the victor's story is told, but what about the loser? In today's news, you can hear what's going on around the world from our perspective, but what about the perspective of the other part of the world?

So I guess my point is can we trust the information we receive today to be completely accurate. I feel this trend influenced by political power. When church was law in some parts of the world, Officials often interpreted the words of the Bible to their own meaning. And this was possible because people on the lower end of the totem pole couldn't read so they couldn't access the information. The political power, or church, regulated what information to offer the public. Today it is done almost the same way. Today's media regulates and slants what information is viewed on the 10 o'clock news.

Starr explains a bit in the introduction that it's hard to turn to other ways of thinking as we travel down a certain path of constitutive choices. "... at times constitutive choices come in bursts set off by social and political crises, technological innovation, or other triggering events, and at these pivotal moments the choices may be encoded in law, etched into technologies, or otherwise embedded in the structure of institutions." (Starr, pg. 4) With all these technological advances, the way our media is broadcast may have changed, but has it changed the amount of bias in today's media?


At 10:17 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A thoughtful post.

Objectivity and bias are modern concerns. The question of bias is important but back in the early modern era (16th-17th centuries) there were greater obstacles for printers and writers. How did the Church limit access to the word of god to a priestly elite and thus limit the power of interpretation? Is there a distinction between the right to read and interpret a sacred text (truth) for yourself and bias? Was the official, authoritative version (the Catholic church) objective? Can we use these modern concepts of bias and objectivity to discuss the religous wars over access to the word of God?


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