The List is Long and I’m Mostly Lazy

I could spend most of my life cataloging every single issue that the media, collectively, fail to cover accurately, much less adequately.  I won’t do that.

What I will do is cherry pick every now and again.  I will also presume that truth and accuracy are part of the overall objectives of any given media coverage and judge accordingly.

If you want the big picture, there are any number of wonderful works that analyze media performance/behavior and point to the root causes of its failures, persuasively in my opinion.  I’ll figure out a way to make a reading list of books I like and post the link to the right.

Until then, here are some starting points to understand my particular point of view (ever evolving):

1. The overriding bias in the media stems from corporate ownership.  In other words, it’s not so much about liberal bias or conservative bias.  There may be an editorial tribal bias but that tribal bias has been defined as part of a business model set by the corporate ownership.  Its purpose is to cater to specific niches, to flatter its audience and to make it feel like its a part of a high-minded movement.

2. The thesis in Manufacturing Consent, developed by Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, is by and large the single best model that I know with which to explain and predict media coverage.  The great part about that model is that it is fueled not by ideological pressures but by market pressures.  It should be palatable to those with a Neoliberalism focus (often referred to as today’s conservative movement) but is not for various reasons.

I will likely add to this list as time goes on but this is a good starting point to understanding the perspective from which I look at the media.  I will add that the media model offered in Manufacturing Consent should be updated for today’s audience, even though it was published just over 20 years ago.  A lot has changed – the fall of Communism, Latin American politics, and global terrorism.

Additionally, although Herman and Chomsky focused mostly on foreign affairs and policy, media coverage of domestic politics and social issues fill out the model quite well.  I recommend Bob Somerby’s Daily Howler whose coverage of the media is very much consistent with Herman and Chomsky’s approach.

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