I think that the Daily Show and the Colbert Report are really political news. Even though the main purpose of these shows is entertainment programming, viewers are still exposed to a variety of political information. These late-night comedy shows can be viewed as a gateway to traditional news. Watching these types of entertainmnet programs can lead to an increased level of participation to political news and information. People who watch either of these shows are exposed to ‘snipets’ of information and then turn to watch the traditional news to get further coverage on the issue.
I do believe that these shows are extremely biased. They provide a few words on what the political information is about, but then put their own spin and opinions on it if they have opposing views. For example, Jon Stewart clearly states his opinion about Peter King and his want to investigate American muslims while defending his ties to the Irish Republican Army. Stewart makes jabs at King for being a republican and continuously lets the viewers know that Stewart is not a big fan of King and his actions.
These late-night shows may also show bias when they invite guests onto their show to talk about certain issues. For example, a segement from the Colbert Report invites Geoffrey Canada onto the show and asks him questions about a recent speech that Obama just gave, in 2009. Since Canada can not seem to find any area where white men are being vicitmized, Colbert tweaks his own responses (and often cuts Canada off in the middle of a sentence) to fit the stance that Colbert himself has on the issue.
Although I do not regularly watch either one of these shows, the clips I have seen seem to promote political participation. Through their joking and equal choosing on partisan topics, these late night shows seem to want people to have an opinion and take a stance on these issues, in order to get the audience to actively participate in their segments.
To a certain degree, I do not think that it necessarily matters where Republicans and Democrats get their news from. In congruence to my previous blog about journalistic objectivity, I believe that if (being the key word in this sentence) major news networks report political information in an unbiased, straightforward manner, then it is up to the citizens to retrieve further information that may fit their own viewpoints.
Once a person hears political information from an unbiased source, I would certainly hope they would seek out different sources that pertain to their political partisanship.
For example, when a Democrat seeks out information from a strictly Democratic source, they are able to view facts that back up and support their side of the issue. Partisan-specific websites like Democrats.org acquire facts from various different news sources and compile them in one place. This allows the viewer to see more easily why the party thinks the way it does, and the biased facts help them understand how the party has arrived at their standpoint.
Another reason why people should seek out information from partisan-specific sources is that they may reinforce what the citizen already believes. For example, websites like the Missouri Republican may highlight issues, important to that specific party, that the main news networks may barely touch upon. In doing so, the citizen can come to a greater understanding on a certain issue.
However, if people only view sources that are in favor of their political party’s viewpoint, it might limit argument diversity that viewers of news networks might encounter and expose them strictly to bias information. All in all, citizens should retrieve their political information from a variety of sources. Democrats and Republicans should also seek out information form their partisan-specific sources in order to clarify, reiterate, and support the particular party’s beliefs and actions.
People normally don’t like hearing the opinions of other people, especially if the line of thought contradicts your own. Walking past speakers circle on any given day you can hear people preaching to you on a number of subjects, and most of the time we just put our heads down and keep walking. It’s human nature to not want to listen to things different from what we are used to, so why should that change with the news we consume? When it comes to news agencies the pillar of the Right is Fox News and the bastion of the Left is MSNBC. Both channels claim the other of hypocrisy and of spreading misinformation. With hard-core Republicans getting their news from Fox and hard-core Democrats getting news predominantly from MSNBC, what does this mean for the country?
In my opinion people getting their news from just one source is a bad thing, whether it be just from Fox, MSNBC, CNN, The New York Times, or The Daily Show. I believe that people need to diversify their news over many outlets and genres. The more different types of news people consume the more well-rounded they will be on a subject, and thus be able make a sound decision at the polls. When watching partisan news networks one has to be carefull not get too drawn in to what they are saying and keep in mind where they are coming from. Just look at how the two sides reported the protests in Wisconsin.
As seen above, Fox News makes the protestors look like thugs who will kill people who get in their way while ruining the United States. MSNBC made the protestors look like David fighting Goliath for the right to have a say in their lives against corporate greed. If a person just watched one of the above channels for all of their news it is easy to say that their view of the world may be a bit skewed.
In the end I think that the politically charged rhetoric from news sources is bad not just for individuals, but for our country as a whole. People like Bill O’Reilly and Rachel Maddow increase partisanship and decrease compromise. In my opinion it is best for people to get their news sources from a plethora of places and keep an open mind on subjects.
I believe that the journalism which succeeds best — and best deserves success — fears God and honors Man; is stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power, constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid – University of Missouri Journalist Creed
Like many other inspiring Missouri journalists, I have frequently heard the Journalist Creed, calling for fair and objective journalism. As ideal is this sounds, I don’t believe it is possible. Journalism relies on the art of words and the reliability of sources. As Michael Schudson states in “Why Democracies Need a Republican Press,” the complex set of our government system leads journalist to rely on the “opinions and views of establishment figures.” These sources help frame the articles to fit their opinions and often journalists do not cover both sides of a story or issue, leading to a natural sway of opinion. The only way to have a fully independent press is to have all opinions covered, and often that isn’t the case.
I also agree with Schudson that journalists often cover a “narrow political spectrum,” so opinions outside of the liberal Democrats and the conservative Republicans typically get ignored (i.e. Ralph Nader). With our vast “melting pot” of a country, it is difficult to cover all political views. Think about it — do you remember specific Libertarian or Green Party coverage off the top of your head? No, the stories that make the news are stories about Democrats and Republicans and their .key issues
Citizens recognize the nonpartisan press, tuning into FOXNews and MSNBC depending on their own political ideals. In a study conducted by Rasmussen Reports, 68 percent of those citizens polled believe most reporters will try to help the candidate they want to win an election. Accuracy and trust in the media seems to be at an all time low (according to a study by The Pew Research Center).
We can work toward objective media, but as much as we try, subjective opinions will be present. Cable channels, like FOXNews, will only perpetuate this bias, and with our political system, there is no foreseeable way to avoid this bias.
The following video brings up some interesting points — especially about FOXNews and stirring up controversy. Some journalists like to claim that they are unbiased, but as the video presents “The more open minded somebody claims to be, the higher the probability that they’re not.”
Information comes at us each in every day from phone calls and text messages to television, Internet and newspapers. With all these options, it’s easy to get bogged down and put up a perceptual screen to unfavorable opinions. When I get my political news, I want to be well-informed, yet entertained to break up all of the clutter. While I value opinion pieces in the New York Times and Time magazine, I need quick, fact-based news, like I find in the Week.
I am an active Twitter-user, and I follow users including The Daily Show, Politico, The Economist, the White House, Anderson Cooper, and CNN Politics. I have found that these sources can inform me quickly on the important matters of each day, and if I want to know more, I follow-up the information with their host sites.
I typically don’t have time to watch television, so the Internet defines my political information. I will admit that I catch C-SPAN when I can to witness political activities nearly firsthand. My parents watch Fox News, but it is too partisan for me. I prefer news sources that are not so blatantly obvious in their opinions.
Jane Hirt from the Chicago Tribune did an interesting piece about the Tribune’s “Red Eye” Project targeted toward millennials, titled “What do Millennials Want in their News Anyway?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOHEiPL_v1o. Our generation is drastically different from those before us – always on the go and in an age of technological advances. My capstone group has done extensive research on this “Youth and Young Adult” group, or the YAYAs. To find insights on the demographics and how the news media can best reach us, check out this link: http://www.mojo-ad.com/node/59.
When I first signed up for this class I knew very little about Political Communication or politics as a whole. This class as a whole was very useful information for me because it was all information which I had never really thought about before. This class definitely made me want to pay attention more to the partisan news and where I get my news from. By looking at the role of the press, this class made me wonder what I was paying attention to and where my news was actually coming from. It “forced” me to pay more attention to what I was hearing and to understand that while I may be hearing something which I agreed with and fit with my ideas it was not the only side of the story.
However, one thing I did not find as useful was the online readings. While I found them interesting many times they related to what we were reading in the book. I feel like while I learned interesting facts from the readings I did not learn anything important or relevant to the class or politics as a whole. So while they may not have been boring I do consider them the most irrelevant.
Personally I think it is a bad thing if democrats get their news from one place and republicans get their news from another place. Although this may create hard core partisans which in many times can be a good thing, it also is not realistic. Many sites cater their stories to please either republicans or democrats. This can make partisans naiive about what is really going on. It is smart for each party to see what the opposite party is reading or watching. Fox news does not report the same as MSNBC. I found an interesting article on the New York Times online, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/us/politics/02tube.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin. The article talks about Fox and MSNBC during the Obama/McCain campaign.
On any given night, there are two distinctly, even extremely, different views of the presidential campaign offered on two of the three big cable news networks, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, a dual reality that is reflected on the Internet as well.
Americans need to see both sides of the story. They need to know what the opposite party is saying about events and candidates. Partisan press isn not good because people are not getting a variety of news. In the article we had to read by Mutx and Martin, they also agree with the fact that people should be exposed to different political points of view. Another website that is interesting is http://partisannews.com/index.php. On this website you can see “how partisan”a story is. It allows users to filter news by political affiliation. It think this website would best help people if they compared and contrasted different stories and read them from different political viewpoints. They can get a real sense of reality on politics. There is not one side to politics.
Overall I think it is important for people to get both sides of politics in order to make educated decisions politically.