Monday, January 24, 2005

Big media: lazy and corporate.

Let's talk media bias for a moment, just because it's all the rage these days, to accuse the metaphorical "media" of some kind of bias.

Media Matters notes that there's "No room for progressives on cable news inauguration coverage" and also "No room for progressives on primetime in inauguration coverage either." My first inclination here is to say that it's a Republican inauguration, so there are mostly Republicans watching, so the coverage is geared toward them. It'd be interesting to make this comparison again when a Democrat is inaugurated; then we'd know whence the bias comes.

Chrenkoff says all the coverage of Iraq is bad news. It's hard to argue that's not true, but I'm not convinced that it's the result of a liberal bias. I commented that I think it's more a result of a corporate bias. Since these all the organizations reporting news rely on advertiser dollars, they want to get the largest audience possible. Bad news sells; it's more entertaining than good news.

You can see this also in how West Nile is talked about in the news far more than automobile deaths, in spite of being much less prevalent. (At this point, my gentle reader might find it entertaining to try to say "virus bias" five times fast.)

Rebecca MacKinnon worked for CNN and now has something to say about how they've gone downhill in a quest for ratings and revenues. My favorite quote:
Any person who thinks that he or she can sit on the living room couch every night and be spoon-fed the truth is highly delusional.
(I heard about it from a post on Joho the Blog.)

What she's saying connects neatly with what Jon Stewart has been saying about the media lately too. "It's lazy, and it's corporate."
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