Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Bias In The Media? Say It Ain't So
The following is a letter I've written to the Ottawa Citizen in response to the most outrageously unobjective "news" story I've ever read in a Canadian paper. In fact, I checked and rechecked its position to satisfy myself that it was being presented as news and not as an editorial or opinion piece. (It's in the column entitled "Local News").
"Re your news article of Jan 4, 2006: MP Must Explain Her Use Of Voters' Private Data,
"Although the questions raised are most serious and deserve to be answered by the individuals involved, you do your paper and your readers a great disservice by allowing your reporter to demonstrate a:) that he/she is unable to maintain a professional detachment in carrying out her assignment or b) fails to see a distinction between reporting and proselytizing. (I refer specifically to the final several paragraphs in which the "news" becomes a thinly disguised opinion piece).
"Perhaps, a bit of oversight is in order on the editor's part. Or a remedial course in reporting news. As well, a self-examination by this reporter might be in order, before accusing someone else of lacking professionalism in their job.
"Surely this apparent display of partisanship and voter manipulation under the guise of 'news' is not a sign of a hidden agenda on the part of your paper. To allow it to go unremarked would certainly entitle readers to conclude otherwise".