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Do you think it is OK for media organizations to support candidates in elections or should they remain neutral?

19 Comments
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Is this about whether or not the law should be changed to prohibit media outlets from supporting a candidate or is it more simply about opinions on what is considered ethical media?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe it isn't illegal, but shouldn't it be in extremely poor taste? I wouldn't trust the news from such an organization.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is what the editorial page is for.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Considering how much of the joke the kisha press clubs are here, I don't see what difference it makes. The media outlets wouldn't dare make any criticisms for fear of being cut from the circle! Cult of personality at it finest...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No media organisation is neutral. So why bother to pretend that they are? At least this way their political affiliations are obvious to all.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ideally, media organizations should remain neutral. But...

Those owned by conservatives or conservative-owned corporations will support conservatives. Those owned by liberals or liberal-owned corporations will support liberals. There don't seem to be any centrist or moderate outlets anymore and no one really seems to care.

It is very unlikely to change any time soon, even if the government makes rules to force them to be unbiased... which no government ever will.

sigh

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Believing that present day Mass Media of any kind is ever politically neutral is indulging in fantasy. However, there is really no inherent problem with partisan news media enterprises supporting certain political views or political candidates either in full throated voice or by more subtle rhetorical or editorial measures. The principle failing of modern mass media today, as a resource for understanding national or international events, lies in their mischievous attempts to beguile audiences into false beliefs of neutrality (balanced reporting) while delivering primarily discrete opinions in place of facts. Modern mass media journalism (post the Ted Turner 24-hour news revolution in America) has become merely a corporate popularity contest pushing out a steady, predictable and monotonous message essentially declaring that someone in power (a "leader") has failed in their public mandate with dire consequences for all. That is not news reporting, it is just low-brow blame-game entertainment and political partisanship cloaked in current events. The mantra 'fair and balanced' and the reporting style it symbolizes in broadcasting and print is entirely intended only to guide (capture) public opinion rather than to inform it in support of a properly functioning democracy. Editorial Boards such as they still exist any more in Mass Media are actually the polar opposite of neutral objective fact checkers and syntax monitors. Rather, they are politicized war rooms constantly strategizing on how to best prosecute (promote) their values (message, influence) to what they see as their willfully mindless but happily seduced (easily entertained) audiences. This applies equally to the collective international newswire services who hawk their sanitized word count pieces upstream to major media retailers in the acceptable predigested politically correct packaged formats which are currently in-line with their buyer's Editorial Standards" (content requirements) for "news" reporting on that particular subject.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Should media by law be required to be neutral? Absolutely.

Should political parties be prohibited by law from owning media? Absolutely.

Freedom of information is an absolutely basic tenant of democracy. Without access to reasonably unbiased information about what the government is up to people have no hope of casting their votes responsibly.

What shocks me is that so many people seem to accept bias in the media as a given, without realising that in effect they've accepted that democracy is in reality a sham, and we're in an oligarchy where big media tells us how to vote and who to vote for.

... of course this should come as no surprise, after all advertising spending is the single greatest predictor of which candidate will be successful in the US presidential elections, and has been so for the last 20 years.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Frungy I love how your argument is basically: media organizations have problems, therefore democracy is a sham. Even you should be able to realize the difference between China and the West.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Party papers are as old as journalism.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

scipantheistSep. 18, 2014 - 12:02AM JST @Frungy I love how your argument is basically: media organizations have problems, therefore democracy is a sham. Even you should be able to realize the difference between China and the West.

Yes, I know the difference. China is slightly more honest than the West. Oh, and Chinese people are thinner. That's the sum total of the differences.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Frungy you missed the crippling lack of freedom of information in the PRC: can't just go on the internet and go anywhere. There I fixed it for you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

scipantheistSep. 18, 2014 - 01:00AM JST @Frungy you missed the crippling lack of freedom of information in the PRC: can't just go on the internet and go anywhere. There I fixed it for you.

Crippling lack of freedom? Do you have any Chinese friends? Because I do and as far as they know their internet is free, and only "dangerous" comments encouraging crimes are censored or followed up by the police. You know where that sounds a lot like? Most of the West.

China is a LOT more like the West than most people would like to believe, and the differences are pretty much cosmetic.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Should media by law be required to be neutral? Absolutely.

Really? Who decides what is neutral? The government? Some random collection of citizens? Everyone has a bias. You can't legislate neutrality.

after all advertising spending is the single greatest predictor of which candidate will be successful in the US presidential elections, and has been so for the last 20 years.

You put the cart before the horse. Candiates who have the right attributes and policies - also have a greater ability to raise (and therefore spend more money). Reverse causality gives the impression of the oppsite. It's not unresearched - http://pricetheory.uchicago.edu/levitt/Papers/LevittUsingRepeatChallengers1994.pdf

0 ( +0 / -0 )

, it is just international ones that occasionally get restricted,

Could you define occasionally? Facebook, Twitter, Youtube have all been blocked for years. (https://en.greatfire.org/ provides data from most recent years).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@frungy

I suppose you've talked to "Most Chinese"? No? Well there's a shocker.

No, but it seems like you did perhaps?

Most Chinese probably believe they DO know what is going on in the rest of the world, but they're receiving propaganda... just like most people in the USA probably believe they DO know what is going on in the rest of the world, but as last week's article by Time about Chinese people believing there will be war (which was blatantly untrue) demonstrates, what they're actually getting is propaganda.

Not even close to being true, I have been to China a few times and most know only what they are allowed to know and some of the underground netizens they might get to know a lot, but that's for the students, geeks and people that are curious about the outside world. msnbc says a lot and it's usually not true as well, so....

And this is my point. When I took the time to actually examine both sides, talk to people and get behind the propaganda and closer to the truth I found that both sides are equally guilty of manipulating the public here.

There is NO country that is immune to propaganda. If and when Hilary runs, you will hear a lot of it going around.

Snowden didn't break the law, he upheld it as his oath required him to do.

Frungy, with all due respect, he most certainly did.

The criminal complaint against Snowden that was released cited 18 U.S.C. 641 Theft of Government Property, 18 U.S.C. 793(d) Unauthorized Communication of National Defense Information, and 18 U.S.C. 798(a)(3) Willful Communication of Classified Intelligence Information to an Unauthorized Person; the two latter charges fall under the Espionage Act for “giving national defense information to someone without a security clearance and revealing classified information about communications intelligence,” that by all accounts certainly describe Snowden’s actions leading to the criminal complaint and extradition requests to authorities in Hong Kong where Snowden was hiding out. It is unclear where Snowden will end up finding “political asylum,” but his contention the Justice Department is seeking him for political retribution is both a pathetic attempt to justify his criminal acts and to garner asylum from a foreign entity.

And on the topic of atrocities, what about the US atrocities? Again, my point is that once you strip away the propaganda you find very few differences between the supposedly "evil" China and the supposedly "good" USA.

The problem was never the Chinese people. They are totally innocent. The problem is the Communist Party.

It was too soon after Iraq, and US public support had to be drummed up. Bush 1 and Bush 2 had to wait between Gulf Wars.

Why is it, you are not criticizing Obama for allowing ISIS to flourish and allow Hilary to go with unanswered questions about Benghazi? Surely you are not a bias guy, right?

You're side-stepping the issue. The fact is that facebook has been unblocked. There was a claim it was still blocked, which was untrue.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Websites_blocked_in_China

Of course it's true. 110% true and not only that, there are many, many more sites that are blocked, which is basically safe to say, China doesn't have ANY freedom to ANY site that the State feels is a threat to their survival.

And this is where you completely miss the point. He'd be crucified, because the law in the USA is like the law in China, it is at the mercy of politicians, and there's nothing fair or equal about it. And if you talk to Chinese people they're also told that the law is above politics, just like in the US where there's the myth of separation of powers, but in actuality both countries have no such thing.

Sorry, but that's just another typical liberal excuse. If Snowden were to make a call, get his lawyer, they would get him safely back to the US. the story would be huge, he would get his day in court and the system would play itself out. Sadly, I would rather he wouldn't get a trial and just sit and rot in prison, but that is just my opinion.

There's fundamentally no difference between the US and China.

Have you ever seen the US Disneyland vs the Chinese something like it one?.....

That's another thing that I wonder about. How the heck will Hilary be able to stand up to Russia and China. Again, not a fan of hers, but if she prove that she has what it takes to be a strong leader she can restore America'a image and that in itself would be a monumental task.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It's okay to support on the editorial or opinion pages. Coverage must remain neutral to maintain journalistic integrity. If a medium can't maintain this balance, it can't be considered a worthy news outlet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

media are made by people and people cant be neutral.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is impossible to be totally "neutral", but you can make an attempt at it, by ensuring that opposing views are given equal weighting, and having staff with various opinion.

In the UK there is an odd rule, in that newspapers are allowed to openly support political parties whereas broadcast media (TV, radio) must seek to be independent, or at least not overtly political.

It is an approach that seems a bit inconsistent, but I think it works.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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