Is it Possible to Still Get Unbiased News Reporting?
The simple answer is - 'Yes' - or at least it should be.
By Ric Wasley
January 28, 2019
Is it possible to still get unbiased news reporting? The simple answer is, 'Yes' - or at least it should be.
In fact, it has gotten so bad that most of us cynically expect the news to be biased and/or fake and since it is, we might as well at least get it from the sources which are not hostile to what we believe in. That doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t all long for the day when you can pick up a paper or turn on the news and find out what is happening without some puffed-up, pompous, sneering, talking head or snobby, smug, condescending ‘journalist’ twisting a story to fit their own political agenda.
I too felt that way until I was out taking a walk yesterday and turned on my iPod radio to get the local news and weather and realized that in that 5-minute segment I found out the classic “who, what, where and when” - all of the basic happenings of the day - and, most amazingly - without any spin or editorializing or analysis - just straight reporting of what was happening.
How refreshing. National, international, and local news without any pompous blathering trying to lead the benighted listener to the ‘correct’ conclusions that we were obviously too ‘dim’ to come to ourselves. The weather forecast without a single mention blaming us for global warming. The stock market without reference to whose policy was doing what to the economy. Sports without anyone ’taking a knee’ or protesting something - and traffic - simply which roads were clogged and where.
When I came back home I saw that our weekly town newspaper had arrived. No national or international news. No pontificating or preaching. The editor's page provided an open forum for those for and against the new school bond. The paper didn’t condemn or support either side. They merely provided them space to air their views. How nice.
The rest of the paper was all local. The town and its happenings. Local business, arts, music, sports, kids, old people, and weekly history of the town - notices and coming events. In other words, all the local news that actually affects you. There were no manufactured ‘tempests in teapots’ designed to outrage and manipulate you into unwittingly doing the bidding of some ‘Deep State’ or Wall Street fat cat’s hidden agenda. Just actual news to inform you of what happened.
Think about it. Isn’t that what news is actually supposed to be?
Now think about this. Isn’t it sad that we should be so surprised when we find a source that actually does that job instead of perverting it into a partisan social platform?
Not only is this unvarnished reporting desirable, but it’s also desperately needed. The sad fact is that most people, especially those on the left, assume they're getting the real news of what really happened rather than at best the leftist partisan spin, and at worst the outright lies you see on almost every story covered by the MSM.
Does that sound too harsh? Take a look at scores of the major stories that the MSM has gotten wrong either by jumping to conclusions that fit their narrative or in some cases deliberately trying to manipulate some facts while suppressing others.
This, of course, is not surprising to those of us who have been paying attention - but the bigger question is, what do we do about it?
Since it is obviously still possible to ‘report’ the news rather than molding it to fit a narrative, why not separate the news into two categories and have each news outlet register as one or the other?
One choice would be simple news reporting: Who, what, where and when, without any commentary - merely someone ‘reading’ the news like the old days.
The second one would be for the current ‘talking-head’ model, where they slant the story to fit a narrative.
The difference would be that the media outlet would be required to choose one of two designations - either news from a Left perspective or news from a Right perspective.
There would be no other designations available so rather than lying and claiming they were doing straight and honest reporting, they would have to choose which side they came down on and we all know which outlets would make which choices. Thus the one thing a system like this would do is strip away the pretense of balance and remind the people that they are seeing the news through a glass tinted with an agenda.
Just think of how much better this would be - having a place to get the facts of the unvarnished story and then having the option of seeing what the right and left have to say without going through smoke and mirrors of the obfuscation and spin that we currently have.
Sounds good to me, how about you?
Ric Wasley is a writer and lecturer, as well as the author of the popular McCarthy Mystery Series. Ric has had a 40 year professional career history in advertising, publishing and marketing in Boston, New York and San Francisco. He has degrees in history and psychology and has been trained in debating, public speaking and stage acting. A large part of his 40 year career was spent in numerous professional and business settings as a presenter and featured speaker at seminars and professional meetings. Ric has been a visiting professor at Worcester Polytech Institute. He also teaches a popular course on marketing for authors at prominent venues such as the venerable “Cape Cod Writers Conference.”
Wasley has been involved in both print and broadcast media as well as writing for business and commercial markets for over 30 years and continues to consult for a major media company. In addition to his novels and short stories, he has been published in several literary magazines. Wasley currently divides his time between Boston and his home on Cape Cod where he continues to write, lecture and create worlds where the unexpected thrives.