Guest Post by Andrew Wakeling
What is the point in complaining, as Jack so continually does, about bias in the mainstream press, without ever suggesting a solution?
‘Freedom of speech’ does not include any obligation to be fair and balanced, or even to be honest. Anyone can generate their own copy as newspaper or blog. The rest of us have the wonderful freedom to read or ignore such words as we wish.
I like government funded news, like the UK’s BBC or Australia’s ABC. I am comforted and reassured by the strident criticism that such outlets are ‘left biased’. So they should be. I expect profit seeking outlets in comparison to bias their reporting to favour their rich owners and advertiser clients. Reading the Murdoch press and listening to the BBC at least gives me some sort of net balanced reporting, or the best I can do.
I’m happy as we are. I haven’t seen any malicious misreporting of facts, like cricket scores or stock prices. But certainly Australian victories get more front page reporting than our defeats. But beyond that most reporting is heavily influenced by opinion, and that is what we the public buy.
So yes, I agree. Trump could have helped a 100 frail old ladies cross the road without being given any credit by MSNBC. But so what? The editors are paid to produce profits and they judge what their customers want to hear, and are prepared to buy.
To those wanting change, but who understandably won’t support a Government controlled news outlet from a new ‘Ministry of Truth’, the obvious question has to be: why have well educated journalists generally drifted ‘left’ over the last 30 or so years? Was there really some dastardly scheme to corrupt their brains? Or could it just be that our increasingly interdependent world increasingly requires a collectivist mindset? The resilient and heroic settler building a new land ( and clearing out the indigenous population) may no longer be an appropriate model to celebrate.