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Pew Research Finds Opinion Dominates MSNBC More Than Fox News

timothy posted 1 year,28 days | from the whose-lies-whose-damn-lies-whose-statistics dept.

The Media 277

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Jack Mirkinson reports that Pew Research Center's annual "State of the Media" study found that, since 2007, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC have all cut back sharply on the amount of actual reporting found on their airwaves. Cheaper, more provocative debate or interview segments have largely filled the void. Pew found that Fox News spent 55 percent of the time on opinion and 45 percent of the time on reporting. Critics of that figure would likely contend that the network's straight news reporting tilts conservative, but it is true that Fox News has more shows that feature reporting packages than MSNBC does. According to Pew MSNBC made the key decision to reprogram itself in prime time as a liberal counterweight to the Fox News Channel's conservative nighttime lineup. The new MSNBC strategy and lineup were accompanied by a substantial cut in interview time and sharply increased airtime devoted to edited packages. The Pew Research examination of programming in December 2012 found MSNBC by far the most opinionated of the three networks, with nearly 90% of MSNBC's primetime coverage coming in the form of opinion or commentary."

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277 comments

Fuck Pew (-1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256063)

Fuck Pew, they also said bloggers aren't journalists [pewinternet.org]. (Sure, not automatically, but they aren't automatically not, either.) Listening to Pew at this point is like trusting Elsevier.

Re:Fuck Pew (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256111)

Yeah, take that Pew! If your puny "facts" don't agree with my bias, then you're total assholes and must be dismissed!!

Re:Fuck Pew (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256295)

Yeah, shoot a laser pistol at them. Pew, pew, pew!

Re:Fuck Pew (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256113)

Fuck Pew, they also said bloggers aren't journalists [pewinternet.org]. (Sure, not automatically, but they aren't automatically not, either.) Listening to Pew at this point is like trusting Elsevier.

Hmmm..."not automatically, but they aren't automatically not"...yes, clearly we should "fuck" Pew here and follow this logic.

Sensationalism is what sells ratings. Like we should be shocked that this is now applied to the "news" hour?

After all, at the end of the day it's not about news it's about ratings, and you're competing against MTV. Looking at their "entertainment" lineup, you can see why it is a formidable mental challenge to cull the dumb-masses away from watching Honey Boo Boo with baited breath.

Re:Fuck Pew (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256161)

...can see why it is a formidable mental challenge to cull the dumb-masses away from watching Honey Boo Boo with baited breath.

I think I clearly read that phonetically as 'dumb-asses'!

Re:Fuck Pew (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256243)

Bated breath, shortened from abated breath, is what you were looking for unless you meant their breath smells like they've been eating fishing bait.

The day journalists do not understand journalism.. (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256119)

This is it, folks

Journalism has gone comatosed

With so many people calling themselves "journalists" - I think we have the most number of "journalists" in this world right now than any other period of human history - it is ironic that REAL JOURNALISM has gone to the dogs

Re:The day journalists do not understand journalis (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256225)

This ironically because real journalism requires a expense account with no strings attached.

This so that said journalist is free to pack up and go where the story takes him or her with no worry that it will flatline them economically.

So, CNN wins (1, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256449)

Specifically, what it says is that both MSNBC and Fox are more than 50% opinion (well, non-news "analysis", anyway). So, these are primarily "chat" sources rather than news sources.

if you want actual news, according to this, go to CNN.

Re:So, CNN wins (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256563)

Well, to be fair, CNN made the decision long ago to run two channels, which certainly keeps their percentage of news higher. Maybe Fox should start a Fox Headline News, devoted to showing the conservative stories that they don't even have time for now.

Re:The day journalists do not understand journalis (5, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256261)

Newspapers and other publications were traditionally politically biased, mostly printed by someone to put their own slant on things. Journalism is historically gonzo, it's only recently that this fair and impartial notion has arisen. I guess people like to read things that agree with their ideas.

Re:The day journalists do not understand journalis (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256435)

I know what you said to be true because I would bribe the town crier to stop talking about my warrant inside the animus.

Re:The day journalists do not understand journalis (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256505)

I think we have the most number of "journalists" in this world right now than any other period of human history - it is ironic that REAL JOURNALISM has gone to the dogs

Yes, it is highly ironic that I have to go to blogs to get news because the mainstream "news" outlets are controlled by corrupt corporate interests.

Re:The day journalists do not understand journalis (3, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256661)

How about a law to require them to put "opinion" in the corner of the screen when they're just spouting crap.

Re:Fuck Pew (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256369)

Sorry, but I can't find that claim in the linked report. I only find the statistics that about 1/3 of all bloggers consider what they do jounalism. The report also mention that even those who don't, usually fact-check.

If the report claims this and I just didn't find it, please say where exacty this claim can be found.

Seems useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256067)

That seems pretty useless if it doesn't also measure how often the purported news is incorrect or biased. If it counts as news but is still pushing a liberal or conservative view then that has the same or worse effect than commentary.

Re:Seems useless (5, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256163)

That seems pretty useless if it doesn't also measure how often the purported news is incorrect or biased.

Opinion is always biased.

The current generation doesnt seem to know what journalism used to be, and apparently cannot seem to tell the difference between facts and opinions.

But just because it's labelled news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256223)

But just because it's labelled news doesn't make it not opinion.

And so therefore one explanation here is that MSNBC are being honest about when opinion is broadcast. Whereas Fox broadcast opinion and CALL it news.

Re:But just because it's labelled news (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256273)

And another explanation is the exact opposite. No study was done to confirm either position. Spouting either without having done so is worse than opinion; it's claiming fact without substantiation.

Re:But just because it's labelled news (1)

interval1066 (668936) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256293)

~laugh~ caught MSNBC in several blatant "opinions", they are plenty guilty of biased, ass.

Re:But just because it's labelled news (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256515)

His explanation didn't at all involve MSNBC being unbiased. It involved it being exactly as biased as the study claims, but Fox more biased than the study claims, while still not necessarily being as biased as MSNBC.

Possibly. I use neither as news sources (and I definitely lean liberal, but I try to get news from non-ridiculous conservative news sources to have an understanding of why people think differently).

Re:But just because it's labelled news (4, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256321)

Indeed

"Democrats fail to undermine Republican policy with lies" vs. "Flaws in Republican scheme ignored, despite Democrat efforts".
(Feel free to switch the names around).

From what I've seen, both MSNBC and Fox are both pretty much all opinion all the time, to the point of being detrimental rather than useless as sources of news.

Re:Seems useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256229)

This is because they have been hammered with the claim that journalism is supposed to be objective.

A generation or two ago, journalism was proudly partisan and you could tell a man's political standing by the newspaper he was reading.

Now it is all cloak and daggers.

Re:Seems useless (5, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256277)

Opinion is always biased.

Of course. But what the OP was talking about is the parts not marked as opinion, but the reporting parts, which should be as objective as possible. What the OP questioned is how much of that reporting is actually biased, and thus not truly reporting (he also questioned how much of it is simply incorrect, which is already a strong hint he wasn't talking about the opinion part).

And yes, it's not really possible to be 100% objective even in reporting, but good reporting goes as close to that as possible. Biased reporting, on the other hand, is worse than marked opinion, because it makes the opinion look like hard facts.

In German public TV they once had a very nice demonstration of this: They purposefully made two oppositely biased "documentations" about the same East-German city (the report was a short time after the German re-unification). Both of them reported only hard facts, yet one of them painted the picture of a declining city which was essentially doomed, while the other one told the story of a booming city with a great future. And both did do it in a quite convincing way.

Re:Seems useless (3, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256705)

All reporting is biased. Some intentionally, some just because that is how people are. Sometimes things that you would consider important in a story are left out because the reporter, whose world view is different from yours, does not consider them significant. Other times things that you would consider important in a story are left out because the reporter recognizes that they would undermine the narrative he/she is trying to promote with the story.
I avoid news sources I catch doing the latter completely. However, I would prefer news sources to be more honest in their bias. My biggest problem with Fox News is not their "conservative" bias, since they are rather upfront about that. Rather it is several of their other biases that they try to get people to overlook. I cannot give you examples at the moment because it has been several months since I saw the stories and I filed them in my head under "take all Fox News stories with a grain of salt". I do not find it necessary to take their stories about "conservative" issues with a grain of salt because I know where they are coming from and know exactly what information is likely to be missing. These other biases are a result of investments in Fox News and partnerships with Fox News by organizations and individuals who I know to have agendas, but whose agendas I am unfamiliar with the details.

Re:Seems useless (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256377)

The current generation doesn't seem to know what journalism [is supposed] to be

FTFY - It's never actually been that way, sure there are some bright spots in it's history but they are few and far between. It's the fundamental reason why old media find it difficult to deal with the internet, they cannot control the content and their audience can shout back at them with equal volume. Everyone can publish (more or less) whatever they want. The "global village" is a reality in the west but in a way that people under 30 will have trouble understanding, it is a genuine communications "revolution". In a historical sense it started yesterday but it has already "changed everything".

Re:Seems useless (2)

Bartles (1198017) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256877)

The problem really lies with what is not reported. Bias by omission. And omitted facts can never be incorrect.

Misleadingly framed (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256071)

This is as misleading as the studies that "disproved" that organic food is more nutritious. Nobody was making the claim they disproved. The basic claim about Fox News' bias is that every single story is framed in such a way to reinforce a distorted, reactionary worldview.

Re:Misleadingly framed (3, Funny)

Troyusrex (2446430) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256247)

This is as misleading as the studies that "disproved" that organic food is more nutritious. Nobody was making the claim they disproved.

There are absolutely many people making the claim that organic foods are more nutritious. Like here [organic.org], here [nytimes.com] and here [organicconsumers.org].

And yes, there are people making the claim that MSNBC is not biased or much less biased than Fox News.

Re:Misleadingly framed (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256335)

Your first link is not a "claim" your first link cites 400 studies that show factually that there are more of certain nutrients and fewer nitrates. The headline is "Are Organic Foods More Nutritious?" When we use a question mark, we are traditionally asking a question, not making a statement of claim.

Re:Misleadingly framed (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256447)

And yes, there are people making the claim that MSNBC is not biased or much less biased than Fox News.

However this, again, is not the claim the study is trying to disprove. It would be impossible since "biased" is a weasel word that has little real world meaning. They are using easy to measure, indisputable data to imply they are talking about bias.

Mainstream news!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256081)

Let me ask you.. who in the world would try to get information from mainstream media?

You have the internet, ignorance and manipulation is a choice.

Re:Mainstream news!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256137)

You cannot be that stupid. ... But as you say, ignorance is a choice.

Theres nothing wrong with opinion (0)

voss (52565) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256083)

As long as its labeled opinion. Fox'es problem is they mix and blur fact,opinion and ideology to promote their aims.

Re:Theres nothing wrong with opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256197)

As long as its labeled opinion. Fox'es problem is they mix and blur fact,opinion and ideology to promote their aims.

I don't disagree with your analysis of Fox's problem. I do have a problem not mentioning MSNBC in the same breath. The last time I tried to watch, they did the same thing only more subtle.

Re:Theres nothing wrong with opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256289)

Fox'es problem is they mix and blur fact,opinion and ideology to promote their aims.

And MSNBC doesn't? Please......

Re:Theres nothing wrong with opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256575)

But MSNBC only does it 10% of the time. Fox does it 45% of the time. :-) Really though, who in there right mind would belive or defend either of them.

Re:Theres nothing wrong with opinion (3, Funny)

StarWreck (695075) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256423)

I think at some point, MSNBC realized that CNN was trying to stay in the middle between Fox and MSNBC, instead of staying in the middle between Left and Right. They're currently embarked on an effort to see how insanely far left they can go to bring CNN left of center before somebody at CNN realizes whats going on.

No, I'm not being serious.

Re:Theres nothing wrong with opinion (5, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256475)

What I've noticed is that on opinion shows Fox will get a liberal and conservative to argue the issue and the commentator for Fox and the conservative will gang up on the liberal.

On MSNBC they get a liberal and a hardcore liberal to discuss an issue and they and the commentator engage in a circle jerk for the whole segment.

Re:Theres nothing wrong with opinion (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256749)

I do not watch Fox News or MSNBC, but what you wrote reflects what I have seen in news stories about things that have happened on their shows.

Muhahahaha! (1)

rarkm (171698) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256085)

Fair and balanced! Fair and balanced!

(Repeat until liberal heads start exploding)

Re:Muhahahaha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256271)

But according to you conservative types, all of the mainstream media is liberal except for Fox News. Now that the only conservative media is demonstrated to consist mostly of opinionated crap, where do you go to get, say, actual news? At least the liberal types have choices other than MSNBC.

(waiting for conservative heads to start exploding)

Re:Muhahahaha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256329)

But according to you conservative types, all of the mainstream media is liberal except for Fox News. Now that the only conservative media is demonstrated to consist mostly of opinionated crap, where do you go to get, say, actual news? At least the liberal types have choices other than MSNBC.

(waiting for conservative heads to start exploding)

Umm, I see no evidence for your assertion about GP poster's political views.

You're the one doing the knee-jerk close-minded stereotyping.

Is that YOUR head exploding?

Re:Muhahahaha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256451)

55% isn't "mostly". "Half" is a more reasonable term.

Re:Muhahahaha! (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256511)

I would definitely be labeled a "liberal" in the US, which is kind of amusing to an Australian lefty. However, Stewart's critique [youtube.com] of the US MSM is one of the most insightful I have ever heard, and I heard it on Fox. - go figure, huh?
Also kudos to Wallace in that link, an honorable Devil's advocate is a rare thing these days.

Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (4, Informative)

dalias (1978986) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256087)

This is as misleading as the studies that "disproved" that organic food is more nutritious. Nobody was making the claim they disproved. The basic claim about Fox News' bias is that every single story is framed in such a way to reinforce a distorted, reactionary worldview, even when it's supposedly NOT an opinion piece.

Re:Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256121)

ORGANIC FOODS ARE NOT MORE NUTRITIOUS. Good gravy on a stick. Unless you take a really weird definition of "nutrition" that means the "extra nutrition" comes in the form of "less pesticides on food." There is no additional vitamin, mineral, or other such content. The only difference is one has more pesticide residue. "That" is what is being hailed as "more nutritious." Which is a load of bollox. Just go wash your damn fruit and they're both be equally "nutritious."

Re:Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (2)

Thavilden (1613435) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256181)

Did I just get wooshed? Re-read the parent, dalias wrote "Nobody was making the claim they disproved". He did not make the claim that organic food was more nutritious, and then you came in trying to disprove that claim. Teaching by example?

Re:Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256491)

So someone has to claim something for someone else to come up with a proof? Generations of scientists have been wrong for creating a thesis and proving/disproving the validity of it? Do we need someone to throw down a challenge to do an analysis?
 
Oh, that's right. It's teh Faux Newzz!!!!111!!! We can shit on them for the same reasons that we praise other 'news' organizations. Kinda like when Apple or Microsoft copies something it's fucking filthy bitches stealing from better products but when Linux does it it's for the greater good and they automagically do it in a better way so it's suddenly innovation.
 
You're just another cunt.

Re:Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256365)

Wow, you're stupid and reactionary. Put down the cakes and candy bars, hides the chips. Go get some exercise for a few months and then go meet a girl. From there the rest should happen naturally as she will expect you to bathe and learn to read and converse like a normal person.

And no, your sister or mother doesn't count.

Re:Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256177)

Indeed, and beside which commentary isn't necessarily bad. The BBC offers comments on most stories but is careful to do so in a way that just puts them in context.

Re:Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256187)

Informative? Where's the information here?
 
What the fuck am I talking about? This is Slashdot... more opinion dominated than Fox, MSNBC and the Nazi Party put together.
 
Oh, and before anyone says it... fuck Godwin's "law"

Everyone does that to an extent. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256269)

The basic claim about Fox News' bias is that every single story is framed in such a way to reinforce a distorted, reactionary worldview, even when it's supposedly NOT an opinion piece.

I am a huge fan of the Economist. One day while discussing a political and economic issue, I rather smugly expressed my point of view only to have it dawn on me later that I parroted the Economist's (Schumpeter column - IIRC) opinion on a certain issue. Not that it's necessarily wrong and they do have excellent analysis (they also pepper opinion throughout EVERYTHING in their magazine),but what disturbed me was that I wasn't thinking for myself and I wasn't aware of it.

I was/am no better than the Fox News watching lemming masses and I hate it!

I'm doing what I can to mitigate media opinions - like see the data for myself; try to get the original source; and just consume less.

Re:Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256275)

And you are just blind if you do not get hat MSNBC is exactly the same. Odds are their bias just happens to be your bias as well.. They both are just terrible.

Re:Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (3, Interesting)

Ironhandx (1762146) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256441)

As someone outside of america looking in, but seeing all of these stations from time to time...

MSNBC is as much total bullshit as fox news is, they fail, but they fail less hard because they frame their bullshit as what it is, bullshit. Fox puts on 'reporting' programs supposedly reporting facts but often the facts are distorted and they've got commentary that destroys what truth there was in the report.

CNN is the only halfway decent major news network in the U.S. They shift back and forth from 25% bullshit to 75% bullshit depending on what current events are going on, but their news reporting IS news reporting and their bullshit is framed as such. Its actually not a terrible station even on an international comparison.

Re:Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256391)

LOLzz!! Major leftist media shill. Just because you agree with their opinion doesn't mean it's still not just an opinion.

Re:Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256615)

YEAH! I'm constantly amazed by you leftists.

You wouldn't know this from the mainstream media, but Mitt Romney did win the election. Obama did spend more money in four years than George W. Bush did in eight. The stock market has been going down and unemployment has been going up. Two plus two is five. FOX News is correct all the time.

And all you liberals have been brainwashed to believe otherwise.

Re:Misleadingly framed poll (again...) (1)

F.Minusia (748125) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256561)

It is easier to brain-wash people with *doctored opinions*. Corporate media seem to prefer that these days. It had to happen as people are becoming more knowledgeable through the Internet.. This poll is then another of those attempts to fool people.

what's not opinion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256097)

The problem is they both select their event reporting based on their respective biases and spin it with intentionally chosen words to goose their respective target audiences. To be able to label any one time slice from either network as pure unbiased reporting is pretty rare. Just because there's an anchor talking at the camera instead of a bunch of pundits talking over each other doesn't make it not opinion.

Fair and balanced.. (2, Funny)

Rockoon (1252108) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256151)

If they have to tell you that they are 'fair and balanced' then its likely that they aren't, but also add in everything that tells you that it 'leans forward', or other crap.

The Soviet Unions national newspaper, during the height of the governments paranoid plummet into self destruction, was called 'Pravda' which translates to 'Truth' or 'Justice' in Russian.

When was the last time a 'breaking story' was something uncovered by an investigative reporter, rather than spoon fed to it by pundits or politicians?

Re:Fair and balanced.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256571)

And if Google has to tell you that they will "do no evil", then...

The Ubiquitous Axe to Grind (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256169)

Before we had a 24 hour news cycle there was still some merit in reviewing coverage of an event or an idea from multiple sources. It was more difficult then, because a good deal of the time Brokaw, Rather, and the morning paper were repeating the same AP/Reuters news report. Today you can get your news du jour on several cable channels, the networks, and at least a thousand places on the interwebs. It is still a good idea to check a story in more than one place before accepting it as accurate.

Commentary is cheap (4, Insightful)

Elbereth (58257) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256171)

Opinions are cheap. Reporters cost money.

Increasingly, people only seem to care about being outraged, anyway. Just look at all the blogs out there -- they're basically nothing more than "outrage of the day" articles, cynically designed to appeal to shallow, emotional outbursts. Slashdot is often guilty of this, as well. I'm not sure whether this trend took hold in Old Media or New Media first, but it has totally dominated New Media, and now the Old Media are struggling to stay relevant, by showing they can be just as fluffy and reactionary as the New Media. In some ways, I think this is just a natural progression of trends started in the 1990s. Hell, maybe it started a lot earlier than that, but that's when I remember things getting worse. My parents would probably say it started around 60s or 70s.

Re:Commentary is cheap (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256241)

>Opinions are cheap....cynically designed to appeal to shallow, emotional outbursts
-then-
> I think this is just a natural progression of trends started in the 1990s. Hell, maybe it started a lot earlier than that, but that's when I remember things getting worse>

Cynical, check
Opinion, check
Emotional, somewhat

Yet another cheap opinion?

Re:Commentary is cheap (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256573)

>Opinions are cheap....cynically designed to appeal to shallow, emotional outbursts
-then-

> I think this is just a natural progression of trends started in the 1990s. Hell, maybe it started a lot earlier than that, but that's when I remember things getting worse>

Cynical, check

Opinion, check

Emotional, somewhat

Yet another cheap opinion?

Is was a comment after all.

Re:Commentary is cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256371)

While it's hard to find full shows, you can find a lot of news segments on youtube all the way back to my parent's birth. It's interesting to spend an hour when your bored watching random segments. It isn't that opinion and bias wasn't present before, just that it wasn't as emphasized as it is today. The one thing I was surprised about was news segments from the 70s and 80s, reporters weren't so quick to inject analogy and random "experts".

Re:Commentary is cheap (2)

khallow (566160) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256497)

Information is free. Attention is not.

And yellow journalism has been around as long as there have been newspapers.

Opinion Polling (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256205)

Polling "data" like this just reinforces how useless polling services are when trying to report on the real world.

When you can call "factual" reporting like "Obama surrendering US sovereignty to the UN" based on a made up conspiracy theory a news story but an in depth, factual analysis of Paul Ryan's budget proposal as opinion, you've given up all claims to credibility.

It's cheaper. (2)

mbone (558574) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256209)

Bloviating is cheap and easy, actual reporting is expensive and hard. What more do you need to know?

Fucking News For Nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256231)

This is "american politics without any relevance to what slashdot should be".

This is getting even dumber and dumber. Lucky I do not create any revenue for this site.

There is no such thing as unbiased reporting (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256255)

Nowhere. Ever. Why does anyone ever think that something like this could exist? Because you have free press? That only means that they are allowed to spread different lies than the government.

EVERY kind of reporting is biased. Even just reporting a fact is, because the question is why this fact was reported and not another one. And considering the amount of stuff happening around the globe, even trying to report everything to give a fully unbiased view is a futile task.

Re:There is no such thing as unbiased reporting (1)

Oh Gawwd Peak Oil (1000227) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256655)

EVERY kind of reporting is biased. Even just reporting a fact is, because the question is why this fact was reported and not another one.

That's right. Even reporting that 2+2=4 is biased. Because why did you not include Jesus???

Re:There is no such thing as unbiased reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256751)

Reporting is only inherently biased because reality has a liberal bias. This dangerous bias held by reality itself means that if you report nothing but fact (pi is about 3.14159) your report cannot be trusted due to it's source. At that point your only option is to make up whatever suits your fancy which, in turn, will share whatever bias you do.

Provocative Headline (5, Insightful)

guttentag (313541) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256281)

Pew Research Finds Opinion Dominates MSNBC More Than Fox News

The headline suggests that Fox's news is less opinionated than MSNBC's News.

Pew found that Fox News spent 55 percent of the time on opinion and 45 percent of the time on reporting... with nearly 90% of MSNBC's primetime coverage coming in the form of opinion or commentary.

So we're talking about the type of shows being aired on the channel: "News"* or Opinion, not the slant of the news being presented. It would be more accurate to say "MSNBC Primetime Programming Reformulated to Include Nearly 90% Opinion," but that wouldn't be as provocative and get as many page views.

Fox News has a history of presenting "news" that is so slanted it's the butt of many jokes ("that story is so biased it should be on Fox News... if only it was funny it could be on the Onion"), so I'd argue that Fox's "News" programming counts in the opinion category.

That said, the story is actually about the increased polarization between MSNBC's lineup and Fox's. One would like think that a "news" channel as laughably-biased as Fox would not survive long, because it's not actually providing news. But they're successful because they've found that people want to be told things that seem to reinforce their own perceptions. That keeps them watching. MSNBC is just acknowledging this and reformulating to do the same for the left-leaning audience.

This is a bad thing, even if you're too intelligent to watch either of these channels, because they suck people in and polarize opinions. Then people walk around spreading these polarized opinions by word of mouth like conspiracy theories, and you end up with polarized politicians running the country who have no reason to compromise and get things done because they won't be re-elected if they compromise.

*As a former print journalist, I think all TV "news" is garbage by design. It's Jerry-Springer-esque entertainment disguised as news. It's formulated to tease you with provocative blurbs suggesting they're going to give you some juicy story, after you watch a bunch of other stuff and commercials. When they finally get to the promised story, it typically contains far less information than a print news story would because it takes too much time to do that much talking, and most people would lose interest part-way through.

Re:Provocative Headline (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256379)

Yes, it is all about world view. Fox's straight news reports as if all conservative world views are correct so you get off teh cuff assumptions that make my head explode....they also seem to cover useless crap more than MSNBC like "car chase in L.A." or "Missing White Girl in AZ". And Fox's morning show is ridiculous. MSNBC's "Morning Joe" is the only show that has decent issues covered.

Re:Provocative Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256479)

Yes, predjudice by political opponents is used as a "fact" to counter actual numbers.

Given how many attack Fox News, it MUST be worth attacking!

That you attack Fox News with arguments like this but still speak about "polarizing opinion" is either tragically sad or hilariously outrageous.

Re:Provocative Headline (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256525)

Numbers are included to look objective but if you read the footnotes, you can see that the study was designed to generate high numbers for the opinion category. A segment was considered to be opinion if at least 25% of it was opinion. So, if the format in one news organization was for every story to spend 70% of the air-time on fact based news, the study would still show that 0% of the programming was fact based and 100% was opinion. Not exactly the results one would expect. If, on the other hand, a news organization's format was to have 70% of their shows as entirely fact based and 30% as entirely opinion based, the study would report what you would expect: 70% of the programming was fact based. So, in this example, you have two new organizations that both spend 70% of air-time on fact based coverage and the study reports one as 100% opinion and the other is reported as 30% opinion. The numbers can be made to show whatever you want based on how you decide to calculate them.

At least Fox tries to pretend its unbiased (5, Insightful)

StarWreck (695075) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256303)

At least Fox tries to pretend its unbiased. Whereas Fox has never-ending coverage of why all Democrat policies are bad, MSNBC has never-ending coverage of how all Republicans are evil racists that want to rape all women all the time and kill old people and put blacks back into slavery. MSNBC "personalities", openly, with no hint of irony, call a white republican a racist and a black republican a "house negro" in the same breath. On a nearly daily basis to boot. There is not even the slightest pretense of unbiased coverage with MSNBC, its a straight-up fifth column. It spreads the holy message of the democratic party as though it was gospel, no matter how ridiculous that message might be on a particular day.

I think I'll stick with my BBC News thank you, I like their proper British matter-of-factly way of telling the news and outside looking in approach to US coverage.

Re:At least Fox tries to pretend its unbiased (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256401)

Whereas Fox has never-ending coverage of why all Democrat policies ...

It's the Democratic Party, and Democratic policies. Using "Democrat" as an adjective is a Republican smear campaign that is partly perpetuated by Fox News. Given your statements above, it sounds like you do watch Fox News a little too much...

Re:At least Fox tries to pretend its unbiased (1)

StarWreck (695075) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256453)

Using "Democrat" as an adjective is a Republican smear campaign that is partly perpetuated by Fox News

I assume then that you don't have any qualms with the constant use of "Repbulican" as an adjective on MSNBC and the endless claims of all republicans being rich old white men... and the unceasing claims that being white men makes them automatically evil.

Re:At least Fox tries to pretend its unbiased (1)

MimeticLie (1866406) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256489)

and the unceasing claims that being white men makes them automatically evil

No one says that, you are being intellectually dishonest.

Re:At least Fox tries to pretend its unbiased (1)

StarWreck (695075) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256495)

No one says that, you are being intellectually dishonest.

From this point, I'm going to assume that you were in a stasis chamber during the last election run-up.

Re:At least Fox tries to pretend its unbiased (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256611)

You are obviously unaware of the the "white privilege" wristbands some school volunteers are being forced to wear by their own government.

Re:At least Fox tries to pretend its unbiased (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256833)

They should start calling themselves "Democratics" rather than "Democrats" if leaving off the "-ic" is so hurtful.

Re:At least Fox tries to pretend its unbiased (1, Funny)

MimeticLie (1866406) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256419)

You and I came to the same conclusion "Fox tries to pretend its (sic) unbiased", but we clearly have radically different opinions whether that's a good thing. If a TV channel is going to be producing a heavily biased package, I'd prefer that it acknowledges that the content is opinion. Airing talking points as news devalues the work of actual news organizations by casting doubt over all of journalism.

Fox is Propaganda not Opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256357)

Fox News is propaganda, not opinion. A set of writers write and endless series of paid for attacks, and because each is crafted individually, they continually contradict themselves.

That's not the same as opinion, a person who has an opinion tends to consistent in that view until it becomes untenable against the facts.

Put simply, they don't believe the BS they spout and they continue to spout it even to the extent of hiding evidence, and playing footage of one event and pretending its another (i.e. knowingly lying).

But you can see it their actions too, when they tried to convince General Petraeus to run for President, they offered him Fox News as a promotional tool. i.e. clearly they know they are a propaganda operation because they offered him the use of that propaganda tool. If the presenters were spouting their own opinion, then Fox president couldn't have guaranteed that to Petraeus:

http://www.salon.com/2012/12/04/fox_news_president_reportedly_tried_to_get_petraeus_to_run_for_president/

Of course the question is, what was the quid pro quo if they got Petraeus elected. They would own the presidency.

Okay, Captain Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256413)

It took a study to determine that Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN aren't really news?! I thought this was common knowledge.

Journalism sucks (3, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | 1 year,28 days | (#43256473)

There are a number of problems at the heart of what's wrong with journalism.

The first is celebrity culture, so there's a persistent undercurrent of self-aggrandizement. They'll latch on to big stories as a way to make a name for themselves, creating a natural inclination to sensationalize. In the mean time they're not really doing anything beyond talking to a camera. The closest thing they do to journalism is interviews. And when that happens if they like the interviewee it's a soft-ball puff piece, when they don't it's nothing but loaded messages to convey a particular message.

The second, bigger problem is that journalists don't see it as their job to inform, they think it's their duty to educate. The distinction is that in the former journalists are merely describing what happened, with the latter they're lulled into pushing agendas. This guarantees bias. This is when journalists approach a story with a hypothesis, find it disproved in research, but because it violates their worldview they get selective with facts and twist them to suit their viewpoint.

Bloggers are amongst the worst. When the topics are apolitical too many of them turn into hangers-on. It's celebrity by association, that they're somehow a crucial component to someone else's success and popularity. When the topics are political, then it's the worst kind of blogger circle-jerk. Some blogger somewhere posts some heavily slanted story which everyone else then reposts as fact adding their own pointless commentary.

The most obnoxious thing here is that simply looking at both sides doesn't translate into balance. Often times you're just getting extremist views with no substantive facts.

Ummm is anyone surprised??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256565)

Does anyone here get their news from anyone of these stations? Goodness I hope not. LOL I watch them for sheer entertainment, and gossip. Ill stick with C-span, for Government. Independent papers and news media as much as possible...and on occasion BBC and PBS. OOh and When is Dave Chapelle coming back to television? I do not watch much television because what is on is crap...and what I do watch is usually made for cable and then I have to wait months before its return......or edutv. LOL sir_wolfie@yahoo.com

In other news, the sky is blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256599)

Rush Limbaugh said during one of his recent shows that his main goal on the show is to make money, and that spreading and arguing for Conservatism is a close second. I don't remember when he said that, so you'll just have to take my word with a grain of salt...but at least he was being honest about it.

Make no mistake that TV stations exist to make money, and they do it by getting viewers and selling ads. Fox has been more successful at doing that in their category than their competition. I don't watch any televised news; usually I'm watching the History Channel while I eat dinner. I otherwise get my news from at least half-a-dozen places online, and I'm at peace knowing that:

- They only get information (whether true or not) that they go out to find, or that their sources give them; and that we see an abridged, cleaned up presentation of that information
- We never get the whole story
- We're all biased because we're human. It's just who we are.
- I should take everything presented to me with a grain of salt
- Audio and video can be doctored or misrepresented (George Zimmerman recordings, Reuters images...)
- Quotes can easily be taken out of context or also misrepresent facts
- Correlation != Causation

And possibly the most important:

- Stay the hell away from people who get all bent out of shape over politics

But I seem to be breaking that last rule by coming to Slashdot...

They are both pretty bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256763)

Not sure why anyone would watch either one.

Picking the turd that smells less pungent (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256853)

What is particularly egregious are show hosts feeling there is nothing wrong with using their shows as platforms to constantly propogate their own beliefs and pet issues. They are essentially video bloggers with the same amount of informative content and sense of reality as any pile of hogwash streaming outta the Interwebs.

For all of the selling out to convinence, lack of discipline and self control their ratings still suck.

Facts and "Big" media? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#43256875)

Talk about an oxymoron! As some wag once said, never let facts get in the way of a good story! :rolleyes:

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