Media polarization is real and can be solved

It has become popular to claim the media is biased.  Accusations fly from both sides of the political spectrum shouting that the media is against them. From the right you hear about the liberal media with all reporters putting a liberal spin on their news. From the left you hear of conservative corporations buying up all the news companies and only allowing their own views to be published or aired. With all these accusations being thrown around it is hard to come to grips with the true state of the media’s polarization.

Pictured left, Keith Olberman, right, Sean Hannity. Picture courtesy of http://images.huffingtonpost.com /gen/46758/thumbs/s-FOX-AND-MSNBC-large.jpg

With media outlets like FOX News and MSNBC it is hard to argue against the polarization of themedia.  In fact in Austan Goolsbee’s 2006 New York Times article the economist argues that the media is most certainly biased.  Goolsbee cites a study that finds newspapers all cater to their reader’s political ideology. He claims that it is the readers who drive the papers’ ideological bias rather than the other way around.

So is a media bias simply a savvy business strategy?  Does the political ideology of the reporters themselves have nothing to do with it?

Veteran journalist and author of Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American CenturyG. Pascal Zachary believes that partisan journalism is not a problem but instead solution to the decline of the profession. He claims that “Journalists are beholden to various points of view,” and the ideal of objectivity keeps them from having to admit the biases they hold. Gregory lists steps the journalism field can take to save itself from the downward spiral of the last decade. One of those reforms is having reporters outright tell their readers of their bias. Another includes a reporters taking personal responsibility about the accuracy of their stories.

While Gregory’s suggestions might be new to the field, it is unknown how likely an industry wide shift would be. What is known however is that under their current state, news media will continue to be a punching bag for critics.

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