Is NPR Biased, IJ and zim? my findings so far.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by makisushi, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. makisushi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #1
    Well, I logged about 4 hours of NPR today. In the morning I listened to Morning Edition and midday I listened to the Kojo Nnamdi show .

    I must admit, that I did not hear a biased comment on Morning Edition, but Kojo was unmistakeably biased on his commentary of the VP debate.

    The problem with my findings so far, is that, 1) this is only the first day, and 2) i believe the Kojo Nnamdi show is a local NPR show here in the DC area.

    I will continue to listen and report any biased commentary this week.
    I am positive that the liberal bias of NPR will show through.
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    it sounds like you'll be keeping track per show, which is great.

    personally, i'm only interested in the NPR shows, not the shows of the affiliates. dunno how others feel.

    glad you're on it, btw.
     
  3. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #3
    Good for you, you do that

    For the record IMO: extreme liberalism AND extreme conservatism is not so good. In a journalist, it's even worse. But in a political commentator, that's to be expected. Fox is riddled with ultra-conservatives. That's just a fact. Then there's Rush, Coulter, and Novak, etc. It is there, and it is biased. You will see some liberals out there. But even Al Franken and Jon Stewart (entertainers BTW) will speak negatively against Democrats. You won't see that much on the other side, but when there is the extreme bias on the liberal side, it is just as wrong.

    If NPR is liberal, and you are a liberal, you will think they are fair. If Fox is Conservative, and so are you, same thing. I can't help you with NPR, but I know Fox is anything but "Fair and Balanced" just from the fact that they seem to often attack the Dems, but defend the Repubs. Especially people like O'Reily and Hanity. If NPR says negative things about Dems, your argument is false. If not, you are correct, and they both hypocrites. Those of us in the middle will disagree with almost any of these stations at times. That's why we have our own minds. That's why there should be more journalism and less editorializing.

    This whole Liberal vs. Conservative thing is so divisive. Most of us are independant thinkers (or should be). We point out the problems with both sides and think the tactics of the ultras of either side to be just wrong. And most of us are tired of the hypocrisy. Sure some of us will pick a side, and have our own beliefs. But it should be about the facts, not opinion, and unfortunetly that is often not true.

    Didn't mean to single you out, I know you are just trying to defend yourself. But come-on, does it really matter? And if you have to look, have to ask, doesn't it kinda negate your argument?
     
  4. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #4
    sushi -

    there's a survey here of npr's guests and think tank citings.

    here's a survey of the political affiliation of NPR guests and interviews. i'm not sure of the exact timeframe, but it looks like it's within the past couple years:
    and here's what the site found regarding think tank references. i don't know the factors that went into their classification of think tanks:
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #5
    and if you go here, you'll see NPR's ombudsman response. some highlights:

    in short:
    - FAIR claims NPR has swung to the right
    - NPR claims it's balanced
     
  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #6
    I've never heard of Kojo Nnamdi, so I'd imagine he's a local commentator. But as I said before, stick to the NPR news product. That's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. And maybe, if you approach this without being so "positive" that you know the result, you might even come to a different conclusion.
     
  7. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #7
    NPR and NPR affiliates

    There is a difference between NPR and the radio stations who broadcast NPR news. For instance, the local NPR affiliate here in the LA area is 89.3 KPCC. This radio station relies on donations from listeners, which in turn they use to purchase NPR programming. NPR charges based on the local stations listener base, that increases and decreases as listeners do.

    While the NPR content is consistent, the local programming can vary depending on who owns and operates the station. Locally, KPCC has won more awards for journalistic excellence than any other media outlet.

    I find that NPR provides balanced coverage. During interviews, probing questions are asked and followed up on, but it is not a "shootout" like you would find on the Hannity show. Hannity has an agenda, but let's face it, most guests have an agenda when they appear on the show and the host knows this. In order to get the information that the audience often already knows, the host has to probe the guest, especially when it is a subject that is not election friendly.

    That shouldn't be considered bias, if a person is being particularly dishonest (as Dick Cheney was being during the VP debate) there is nothing wrong with pointing it out is there? In fact, that is the kind of analysis that I want from a media outlet, as long as it is applied evenly.
     
  8. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #8
    Exactly. I have no problem with looking at both sides, and expect my newscasters to do the same. I am a fan of both McCain and Dean, but I can criticize both when they do something wrong. When I am waching or reading the news, if I can't tell who the person reporting is favoring and which side they lean, they are doing their jobs correctly IMO. Like when Dennis Miller used to make fun of someone (on either side) for doing things he now defends if they are conservatives.

    Unfortunetly, someone who leans too far to the right will think Fox is fair and balanced, and anyone else is too liberal.
     
  9. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #9
     
  10. SPG macrumors 65816

    SPG

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2001
    Location:
    In the shadow of the Space Needle.
    #10
    I've been noticing the shift to the right of NPR over the past few years. The most blatant example is Juan Williams will come on and interview Dick cheney because the administration knows he'll let dick get away with the distortions or outright lies that any self respecting reporter would challenge. NPR will also allow adminsitration officials to come on and give very biased editorials with no rebuttal.
    Despite this NPR still remains relatively centrist and would be considered right wing when compared to many other countries.
    NPR affiliates will play some real lefty shows like alternative radio
    You should give 'em a listen every now and then, might open your mind to some new possibilities.
     
  11. makisushi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #11
    I am back, did you miss me? oh, you didn't even know I was gone? LOL

    I was called to NYC for business, but I am back and ready to listen to NPR.

    I will report my findings shortly.
     
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #12
    and this whole time, i thought you were doing the npr research. i pictured you quitting your job, sitting at home in front of the radio w/ a pad and pencil, furiously taking notes.

    how wrong i was! :)
     
  13. makisushi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #13
    As much as I hate to do this... I have put in about one week of NPR listening, and could not really discern a strong bias of any kind. I listened to Morning Edition and All things Considered mostly, since these are daily shows. When the whole Las Vegas voting fiasco came out, I thought I was going to hit gold, but alas straight forward reporting.

    I must concede at this point of my research, but if I do come across something about how liberal NPR is, I will report it here.


    ..and for another helping of crow.
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #14
    Your candor in admitting that you did not find what you thought you'd find is very much appreciated. I suppose my next question to you should be, why did you think you'd find left-wing bias at NPR?
     
  15. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #15
    thanks for taking the time for doing this, and thanks for the candor. as a side effect of all this npr listening, do you feel more informed?

    maybe rower can sticky this thread.
     
  16. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #16
    I'll take it under consideration - though I'm not sure makisushi would appreciate his crow eating being made so permanent. ;)
     
  17. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #17
    yes, but that's not why.

    call me overly dramatic, but it's not often that we can come to an agreement on such an issue. imagine if we were able to establish "forum tenets", stickied, that we could point to instead of debating the same issue over and over.

    of course, the requirements for such a tenet would be strict, but, for example, if we can pass the "NPR is not left-leaning" tenet, we can all point to it whenever someone uses that as the basis of an argument, or as a snippy aside.

    forum participants would (informally) agree to hold the tenets as truths, or promise to direct tenet disagreement to a thread specifically for that purpose (a "tenet challenge" thread).

    or maybe i should just get back to work :)
     
  18. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #18
    I understand your reasoning behind the request, but I'm not sure something so official as a sticky thread for each tenet is required.

    What I would consider is creating a catch all sticky thread that points to "tenet challenge" discussions, such as this one. It would also be an effective way to quickly draw off-topic discussion into the tenet discussion threads and away from the topic at hand.

    Thoughts?
     
  19. trebblekicked macrumors 6502a

    trebblekicked

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #19
    "boo ya" comes to mind. great idea. go for it! :)
     
  20. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2001
    #20
    All media is biased. Those on the far-left will whine about how they don't pound Bush enough and are GOP propaganda machines. Those on the far-right will complain about how they are all closet pinkos.

    I find the best way to determine the leaning of an outlet is to examine statistics on their viewerships. If Republican viewers far out-number Democrats, I say it's safe to call a Conservative bias (Fox News). If Democrats far out-number Republicans, it's fair to call it liberal biased (CNN, NPR).

    That seems to me to be the most objective method. If at first glance you think an outlet is completely unbiased, it's usually just more in line with your personal views.
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #21
    why? i get my news from sources which are informative. i listen to NPR, which makisushi declared straight up unbiased journalism (care to take the NPR challenge, durandal?), because it's in-depth and informative. i read the Economist for the same reason. would you call it liberal because *I* read it? i often don't agree w/ their opinions, but boy, they're reasoned and well-researched.

    after makisushi's NPR findings, how can you possibly sit there and declare NPR liberal biased? i call that your own bias. listen to their news and point out their bias or drop your unfounded assertions.
     
  22. pdham macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Madison
    #22
    I have seen alot of talk about media bias, so I thought I would give you what know on the subject. I am just finishing up my degree in Journalism and I spent over a year as an undergrad working on a media research project with Phd students. We specifically looked at the coverage of the approach to the begining of the war in Iraq. We examined newspapers from all over the world in 12 different languages (we used native speakers to code those papers). We looked at source use, source number, source percentage and diversification of sources. We also analyzed location of reporting, framing and how this all ties into media ownership. Our research group got two papers published by a national media conference in 2002. I am not telling you all this to brag, but so no one will ask me to back up my findings with a link, you are going to have to trust me as the authority on my own research :)

    So, what would I say about media bias after spending so much time qualitatively and quantitatvely analyzing it. The answer is media bias is a different species than most people understand. The numbers of our research (I dont have them handy so no specifics) show a great tendency (I think it was around 76%) of American outlets used "official sources" to construct thiet stories. That means WHite House officials, Bush himself, etc. This obviously leads to a towing of the party line. So, why don't I scream conservitive bias then? (and I am not talking FOX news.. that station wasnt even worth our time) The answer is, as we dug it seemed to become clear that it wasnt a matter or outlet ideology, but a matter or resources willing to be spent. By this I mean, news outlets are a profit oriented business first (right or wrong) and they want the story with the least amount of monetary effort. This means going to where the information is plentiful. Now, the government is not stupid, they recognize this and aptly form their information desemination around the newsmakers schedual. FOr example press conferences are often help a few hours before deadline. We came to this conclusion with a very complicated analysis of source use in relation to location of reporting and media outlet expenditure on news stuff... to complicated to type out in a post. At anyrate my point is the bias comes from a desire to make easy, cheap news and the conservative white house will gladly give them what they want. I am not saying that if Kerry wins we will see a wholesale reversal, but expect a change in the apperance of "bias" in the media if we have a more "liberal" white house.

    I hope that made some sense. I can expand more if you have specific questions. But be warned I wont be online until Monday.

    Paul
     
  23. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #23
    thanks, paul, very interesting.

    what, if anything, did you discover about media outlets that tend to do more in-depth pieces? (i'm thinking NPR, the economist, various public TV shows, et. al.)

    and are any of your studies online?
     
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #24
    Good stuff, Paul. Right out the box, I don't except the premise of the statement "all media is biased." This is an argument carefully constructed by the Right over the last couple of decades with the expressed purpose of undermining the traditional sources of information and replacing them with (for want of a better word), propaganda. I think it was stated best by one of the commentators in "Outfoxed," when he observed that the major revolution in the American media today is that the public is now comfortable with being propagandized -- and that voluntary propaganda is the most dangerous and insidious kind. Some time back I heard one of the more prominent conservative think-tankers (wish I could remember which one) say that he thought this process had gone too far. It's created an environment of cynicism and mistrust of all media -- the new expectation of viewers toward the media being to confirm existing prejudices instead of exposing them to uncomfortable, and often complex, facts. Obviously this is bad news for the Republic.

    I think this also why it's become an article of conservative faith to especially encourage a feeling of distrust of news outlets like NPR, which after is one of the few media sources still engaging in long-form journalism (nearly a dead art form). To put it bluntly, information is the enemy of mind-control. "Don't even listen," is what the gurus of the Right have been saying for years about NPR, and some are bound to believe it.
     
  25. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #25
    But that theory has just been proven wrong... by a conservative no less.

    As an independant, I try to look for those who would look equally critically of both sides based on what they have said or done. I seldom find that. I tended not to look toward NPR somewhat because I also believed they were liberal biased... and because it bores me sometimes. My Father is pretty liberal, and he listens to them. I guess we were both wrong then, you and I, in expecting them to lean to the left. And CNN? Maybe they're liberal, but they also have Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson. 2 very conservative people. The only person I could kind-of see as liberal (or even independant) is Alan Colmes, but opposite Sean Hannity, anyone looks liberal.

    I like MSNBC (even if it is M$) because they often seem pretty fair. Despite Pat Buchannan and Dennis Miller - who used to be funny when he made fun of both sides, but now defends Bush for mistakes he would have crucified Clinton (and Bush Sr) for in the past. Jon Stewart is a little left leaning, but he will usually try to stay non-partisan to get both sides, and I think the Daily Show is funny so I watch him.

    The world is not black and white, and the good thing about liberals is that they will criticize their own if they do something stupid. I just wish I saw that more from the conservatives. As Bill Maher says, I would be a Republican if only they would.
     

Share This Page