Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th Oct 2011 22:37 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Considering the polarising topic of software patents and related IP litigation is coming up a lot lately, I felt the need to write a few words on this thing called 'bias'. This word is being thrown around a lot, but I get the feeling many people are unclear as to what, exactly, it means. Because contrary to popular opinion, there's nothing wrong with being being biased. In fact, there's no such thing as unbiased blogging (or even unbiased journalism).
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Not quite
by No it isnt on Mon 24th Oct 2011 23:11 UTC
No it isnt
Member since:
2005-11-14

Plenty of journalists adhere to the "unbiased" paradigm of the ideology of journalism, which demands they give equal time and attention to polar opposite viewpoints when one viewpoint is correct and valid and the other is sheer lunacy. And of course, when they don't do that, they are blamed of bias.

My point is: neutrality isn't neutral, but lends credibility to unreasonable and harmful demagogy. And in whose interest is that?

Reply Score: 6

RE: Not quite
by Flatland_Spider on Tue 25th Oct 2011 13:44 in reply to "Not quite"
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

What? No, that's incredibly backwards.

You're advocating subjectivism with a feedback loop without any third party checks. The effect being a runaway re-enforcement of personal biases and prejudices.

Let me write some code.

do{i++}while();
do{i++}while(i<x);

Which is correct? Obviously, the second loop because it checks to see if it should continue by referencing data outside of the loop.

I'll acknowledge no one is truly neutral, just like no sphere can be truly round. Humans just don't have to tools to accomplish such things. We can still try to remove as much tint as possible by being aware of our biases, just like we can strive to make rounder spheres with better tools.

Without balance, it's just propaganda, and it's unethical. Another way to put it is, if people aren't disclosing everything, everything includes contrary data, you're being lied to and manipulated.

People cannot be informed and make decisions without having all the information. It's the job of a neutral report to present both sides so people can make up their own minds. It's not the reports job to be a Pied Piper, and lead people down whatever path the benefits the preparer the most.

For example, people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck like to be Pied Pipers. They are in no way neutral, and because they are not, they poison the discussion of politics by spreading misinformation and propaganda. They only help whomever is pulling their strings. They heard people towards ideas which benefit them and their masters.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Not quite
by No it isnt on Thu 27th Oct 2011 20:20 in reply to "RE: Not quite"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

I'm not advocating anything.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not quite
by JoeBuck on Tue 25th Oct 2011 17:05 in reply to "Not quite"
JoeBuck Member since:
2006-01-11

That assumes that there are exactly two sides to any question. In reality, the "balanced" journalist (or his/her editor) will pick two "respectable" positions to represent the two sides, and the resulting article will strongly suggest that the truth lies somewhere in between these viewpoints. In the US, a moderate Democrat and a Republican member of the leadership might be picked to represent the two viewpoints; the more progressive Democrats, Greens, leftists, libertarians, or other dissidents need not be considered at all, and the idea of asking a foreign observer about an American political question is never considered.

Reply Parent Score: 3