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Old 04-17-2012, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Why the Mainstream Media Really Sucks

Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
So NPR just updated their journalism standards, and the most significant change was that they're no longer going to practice that 'two sides' type of journalism where they present opposing opinions equally, regardless of the credibility of the arguments.

I especially like the part where the site is overloaded with people who are apparently pretty excited about it.

NPR Tries to Get its Pressthink Right Pressthink

Here's the relevant part:

In my view the most important changes are these passages:

In all our stories, especially matters of controversy, we strive to consider the strongest arguments we can find on all sides, seeking to deliver both nuance and clarity. Our goal is not to please those whom we report on or to produce stories that create the appearance of balance, but to seek the truth.


At all times, we report for our readers and listeners, not our sources. So our primary consideration when presenting the news is that we are fair to the truth. If our sources try to mislead us or put a false spin on the information they give us, we tell our audience. If the balance of evidence in a matter of controversy weighs heavily on one side, we acknowledge it in our reports. We strive to give our audience confidence that all sides have been considered and represented fairly.

With these words, NPR commits itself as an organization to avoid the worst excesses of “he said, she said” journalism. It says to itself that a report characterized by false balance is a false report. It introduces a new and potentially powerful concept of fairness: being “fair to the truth,” which as we know is not always evenly distributed among the sides in a public dispute.

Maintaining the “appearance of balance” isn’t good enough, NPR says. “If the balance of evidence in a matter of controversy weighs heavily on one side…” we have to say so. When we are spun, we don’t just report it. “We tell our audience…” This is spin!
Here's the Kos coverage, with a link to a 'thank you' petition you can sign to show support.

Daily Kos: Bravo, NPR!
This is from March 27, but pretty much shows NPR continuing in its pattern of acting as an uncritical propaganda arm for the government.
Glenn Greenwald: What NPR means by “reporting”
It is well worth listening to this 4-minute NPR story from this morning (embedded below) on the grave and growing menace of “state-sponsored Terrorism” from Iran. NPR national security reporter Dina Temple-Raston does what she (and NPR reporters generally) typically do: gathers a couple of current and former government officials (with an agreeable establishment think-tank expert thrown in the mix), uncritically airs what they say, and then repeats it herself.
The article goes on to detail how the news report leaves out any context on Iran regarding the numerous attacks against Iran propagated or originated by the US, Israel, or the terrorist groups we sponsor.
There’s one prime reason why Americans are so uninformed about what their government does in their name around the world (Why do they hate us?). It’s because “news stories” from “even liberal media outlets” like NPR systematically obscure those facts, disseminating pure propaganda from America’s National Security State masquerading as high-minded, Serious news.
So I think NPR is still struggling to meet these challenges. I especially think this when I listen to stories about North Korea for example, like at On The Media:
Earlier in the week, the U.S. government had expressed its concern that reporters might be playing into North Korea’s hands. A spokesperson from the National Security Council told Politico that, quote, “Reporters have to be careful not to get co-opted. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know this is a propaganda exercise.
I like the irony of an NPR program reporting on the US government warning reporters to not get co-opted. Because you know, embedding US reporters in the US military isn't like that, nor the relationship of most of the reporters on the US national intelligence beat who get access to government intelligence officials in exchange for passing on their anonymous official propaganda as news. And also not like the Pentagon Pundit Scandal. Yep. Totally different.
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