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Everyone has biases.

The very condition of being biased is programmed into our genome as a means of protecting the tribe.

That does not make it right. We aren't battling for dominance over the water hole again, yet. But we live in a society that uses this internal programming in order to make more purchase that which has been deemed a part of the given culture.

We also see biases pop up in sociological settings where it is advantageous to have your clan identity be perceived as superior in order to curb moral leanings towards those seen as the enemy or other. These perspectives are generally limited to military and church settings but with the rise of the religious right we are seeing an entirely new form of acceptable biases in our media. This amount of bias has left us with an ignorant electorate. And even worse than ignorant misinformed.

Civilizations implode when the media becomes so biased. As we watch from our computer screens we can see daily where media bias is some form of stochastic terrorism. Perhaps only mild, forcing millions stuck on transit or in line to listen to the parroting of right wing talking points. To the extreme of hordes pointing weapons at federal officials just trying to do their job.

So it is not only important to share the news from one's community but to do so in a manner that communicates to everyone.

Some basic journalism standards:

Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled, and not misrepresent fact or context.

Distinguish news from advertising and avoid hybrids that blur the two.

Examine your own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.

Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.

Support the open exchange of views, even views you might find repugnant.

These standards are not in order to restrict your writing but to make the writing solid and more readable across a broader audience.

Here is some really astounding information about how to not write in a biased manner from Walden University Writing Lab.

Writers should write objectively and inclusively to receive respect and trust from readers, as well as to avoid alienating readers. To be objective means to write with curiosity, rather than having a preset opinion, and to engage with research, rather than presenting a personal preference.

Being objective in your writing is a skill that you will develop, just like your academic voice. Though having a passion for your topic makes the writing process easier, it is important not to let it take over your draft.  Here are some tips for keeping objectivity and eliminating bias.

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Comment Preferences

  •  biases are also preferences (5+ / 0-)

    although "journalistic standards" in the age of the Web are perhaps oxymorons (see Business Journalism a.k.a. Touts)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 02:07:29 PM PDT

  •  As I see, the problem isn't that today's... (7+ / 0-)

    journalists don't know how to write without bias. They are taught in journalism class to be objective, and could easily perform their job assignments adhering to that standard.

    The problem is that their employers no longer want their journalists to write without bias. It's not profitable. Huge corporations make more money controlling the message. And they do that by appealing to particular sections of the populace.

    It's no longer "The News." It's "Infotainment Tonight."

    Back in the day, news departments of television and radio networks weren't worried about making profit off the news. They treated it as a public service, making up for the loss of profit in their entertainment divisions and by claiming tax write-offs.

    Journalism is one enterprise that I wish conservatives actually wanted to return to yesteryear... instead of just wanting to take society as a whole back in time.

    Good diary

    "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

    by markthshark on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 02:55:53 PM PDT

    •  Before WWII the print media in the US was very (0+ / 0-)

      biased with each publication having a point of view that bled off the editorial pages and onto the news pages. In my view the Golden Age of Journalism was from 1950-1990, a period of about 40 years. We didn't have it before that, haven't had it since, and are unlikely to see it again.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 07:18:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can you provide some examples? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Santa Susanna Kid

        Serious question--I've heard this before and would be inclined to believe it to an extent. I would love to know some go-to titles, to check out. The Gilded Age, in particular, probably was full of Scandal Sheets, though one could imagine around the time of the Civil War, propaganda was surely as rampant as it is today.

        But let's be fair:

        We didn't have it before that, haven't had it since, and are unlikely to see it again.
        Thomas Paine was no wannabe...

        "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

        by lunachickie on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 07:52:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think, though, that in the 50's, (0+ / 0-)

        Journalism did get pretty tainted with the "Red Threat" and the Cold War overexcitement. Almost to the extent of the fox journalism of today; what with their sensationalistic bullshit and all...SSK

        "Hey Clinton, I'm bushed" - Keith Richards UID 194838

        by Santa Susanna Kid on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 01:41:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  SSK - the red threat was real (0+ / 0-)

          As the USSR flexed its muscles in Eastern Europe the rest of Europe was legitimately threatened and NATO was the response. On a global scale both the USSR and the USA were committed to a mutual destruction path and that meant the production of ten of thousands of nuclear weapons. That was all legitimately frightening and real.

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Sun Jun 08, 2014 at 07:15:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, I know that was real; (0+ / 0-)

            I guess the mindset in my comment was leaning more towards the "Commie" witch hunt in America. McCarthyism, the FBI, and the big red fear propaganda machine perpetrated by the US Government in that time period. They found plenty of scapegoats and scare tactics to make it seem real that "Communism has arrived in America".  Plenty of media outlets at that time latched onto it, prodded by the government and Hoover. And we still have "ism" & "ist" bias following us to this day...SSK

            "Hey Clinton, I'm bushed" - Keith Richards UID 194838

            by Santa Susanna Kid on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:16:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  SSK - communism did have a foothold even (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Santa Susanna Kid

              in the democratic countries in Europe, along with the socialists. It's why Europe has a more social democratic form of governance than the US. The cold war made unions in the US reject socialism and communism to remain politically viable.

              I think we are in agreement.

              "let's talk about that" uid 92953

              by VClib on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 07:18:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Santa Susanna Kid, aliasalias

      right:

      The problem isn't that today's journalists don't know how to write without bias. They are taught in journalism class to be objective, and could easily perform their job assignments adhering to that standard. The problem is that their employers no longer want their journalists to write without bias. It's not profitable.

      It's not just about profit, either.

      "Inevitability" diminishes free will and replaces it with self-fulfilling prophecies."--Geenius At Wrok

      by lunachickie on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 07:56:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bias not only pervades what is reported, but (5+ / 0-)

    what is even deemed newsworthy.  We are much less like to find answers to the questions we choose not to ask.

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