Friday, March 18, 2011

The Left/Right Bias WITHIN a Right-Media

So I was talking with my LSAT teacher today who happens to be in journalism school (We were talking me, him, and another guy from our media and politics class), and the teacher had an interesting view on the bias in the media. According to him, almost all journalism in America is geared towards the right. He argued that the entire American Psyche is fairly right-thinking. Things such as a strict, unwaivering belief in capitalism and a belief in a police-state (as he called it) with incarceration levels nearing 800 for every 100,000 us citizens (nearly 1%), showed that our state, according to his view, was already right wing.  Also with big business and government interest and influence, the journalism in the states is influenced to keep the status quo and not challenge authority.

The only variance in the right-left spectrum, he argued, occurred on the right side, aka, more right as opposed to less right.  What do you guys think of this?

Friday, March 11, 2011

DC Mayoral Office Scandal

I read in the Washington Examiner (not sure how refutable this paper is) that there is a number of scandals in the DC mayoral office. Just two months into his Term, Vincent Gray is already in a mess of turmoil from a number of scandalous discoveries. First, the salaries for some of his top advisors/officials is over, or poised to breach, the legal limit. Second, he has been accused of abusing campaign funds and overspending on consulting by advantageous contacts or close friends. Last, some of his higher officials have hired their children to work in for their office, which seems to be fine in the private sector, but unjust in the public one.

Bad start for this new Mayor it seems.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Al Jezeera is Winning

This morning Hillary Clinton spoke to the US Foreign Policy Priorities Committee on CSPAN. She said that Al Jezeera is winning the war of information over American broadcastors. She is quoted as saying that "Our private media cannot fill that gap. Our private media, particularly cultural programming often works at counter purposes to what we truly are as Americans. I remember having an Afghan general tell me that the only thing he thought about Americans is that all the men wrestled and the women walked around in bikinis because the only TV he ever saw was Baywatch and World Wide Wrestling."

She seems to hint here that since commercial media is driven by profit, there is not enough incentive to pursue the better and more full news story. An idea that came to me is that perhaps there does need to be some state-run news group. It could be semi-independent, as in the case of the new york federal reserve, where the government cannot simply dictate it's operation. If a news group can be freed of profit incentives and commercial interests, maybe we can get closer to a kind of objective journalism. On the other side, it is of course dangerous to give government any level of control over the media, then again, are commercial interests any better?

What do you guys think?

Read more:

At the end of the article it mentions that "Clinton says she is leading an effort to spread U.S. propaganda through new media, with twitter feeds in Arabic and Farsi."  Which is also later on this

Monday, February 28, 2011

My answer for "what is 'watchdog' journalism"

So, as you guys may remember. There was a quiz a couple classes ago.
The question was:
             "What is 'watchdog' journalism, and what are some reasons why it has been declining?

I didn't do the reading. I thought about BSing my way through it like...oh...40 percent of you probably did. But instead of guessing i thought what the hell. Here is my answer, verbatim.

        Watchdog journalism is journalism about the breeding and raising of watchdogs. It follow's the lives and hardships of German Sheperds, bulldogs, and, the less popular, chiwawa.
       In recent years there has been a growing discontentment amoung the dogs as to how they are treated within the Journalistic community. Barky, a spokesdog for the RWDWD (Rot-Weiler Division of Watch Dogs), has been particularly harsh on the journalism community, to the point of biting 3 writers.
        Writers, now wary of the reaction of watchdogs, have been slowly but surely moving away from this type of reporting. This is why it is in Decline. 

Professor Adler gave me a 0/1. Perhaps it is his bias against the RWDWD that fueled his unjust rage, or perhaps it is his personal vandetta against the mispelling of the word 'Chiuaua.'  In either case I ask, where is the unbiased evaluation professor!? IS THERE SUCH THING AS OBJECTIVE GRADING!?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Censorship of the Internet in China

Out of the top 100 sites on the internet, 12 are currently blocked in the mainland of China (wiki). Blocked sites include imdb, youtube, twitter, blogspot (i think i've heard of this one), facebook, imageshack, and various others that would not be appropriate to name to all you frumsters out there, even though im sure most would never dream of exploring such vulgar sites. Additionally, such searches as "democracy" on google pull up a censored page. How they censor is a whole other issue. You don't end up at a page declaring THIS WEBSITE IS CENSORED BY THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA. No, instead you are brought to a "this website does not exsist" or "your search query did not match any records."  Because of such techniques, it is very possible that many people living in china do not even know that content is being censored. Though I suspect that the knowledge of the censorship is making its way through the population, and has been for years, since i havn't looked into it though, this is purely speculative.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

First Blog

So as I write this first blog post I am thinking of what I can write about that related to our last class. We talked about the idea of an "objective media" and the clearly related topic of a biased news story. But for someone who, to put it lightly, is lacking in knowledge of current events, how am I to detect whether a story is biased or not.

I found an article that was helpful for this, the link is below. I hope this suffices as my first blog.