Geoff Lichy

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Tag: media companies

Which Media Sources Are Neutral?

This is a bit of a follow-up to my analysis on who owns the media.

I also came across this infographic. While it’s decent, I felt it wasn’t 100 percent accurate. It’s worth mentioning that news sources have nebulous affiliations with partisan bias. Opinion pieces further muddy the waters, as any source can publish articles by liberal or conservative sources. For example, The Washington Post is often considered left-leaning as a whole, but occasionally uses pieces from conservative journalists.

A media organization’s rating (neutral, liberal, conservative, etc.) does not mean everything from that outlet will conform to the rating. Ratings are overall estimations. Sometimes a news site will surprise you. For instance, I’ve seen utter trash published by The New York Times and quality journalistic content published on Breitbart. Most people still agree that the Times is more reputable than Breitbart.

Note that indications of partisan bias don’t necessarily correlate with low quality. Sometimes a highly partisan article can have excellent/useful information. Just keep an eye out.

As always: use your own judgment on a case-by-case basis. Does an article appear to promote only one viewpoint? Does it make claims which require citations? Has it been refuted by Snopes? Is it a satire site like The Onion? Sometimes it’s helpful to check who the writer is.

And never, ever get your news from only one source.

I may create an infographic of my own. But in the meantime, here’s a list format on partisan bias. If you disagree with anything, let me know!

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Who owns the media?

I’ve been wondering about possible conflicts of interest within the news media. Over the past year or two, instances of collusion and other suspicious behaviors have caught my eye. So I decided to dig into who owns what. In some cases, the ownership of a company might reflect bias in the news put forth by that company.

In 1983, 90% of US media was controlled by fifty companies; today, 90% is controlled by just seven companies. (Wikipedia)

US distrust in the media remains high, and we may have good reasons for that. 60% of Americans “have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly.” (Gallup 2012) (Gallup 2015) Confidence in newspapers has continued to drop, now with only 20%  of Americans “who are confident in newspapers as a U.S. institution.”

“Americans’ orientation to news is changing, with a growing emphasis on identifying more closely with a favorite media organization.” (Gallup 2016) People are turning more to social media and specific sources to get news. This could lead to widespread echo chambers, where other opinions are not considered or even tolerated. Getting your news from a variety of sources can be very important.

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