Missed this article in the Washington Post about the CBS report. Nothing much new, but this is an interesting nugget:
Media credibility has been declining for years. In 1988, 58 percent of the public found no bias in political reporting, according to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. By 2004, the figure had dropped to 38 percent.
Now that number should be a giant red flag for anyone in the business. I find it interesting that so little is being done to try to combat this decline.
No journalism schools have classes dedicated to identifying bias or mastering objectivity. In fact, academia’s response includes the creation of the hostile media effect, which holds that partisans always see the media as biased against them. The theory, in essence, tells journalists that readers will always perceive bias, so there’s no reason to try to avoid the perception.
At the newspapers where I’ve worked, most reporters and editors shrug off complaints of bias as expected criticism from a few partisans. Nothing to dwell upon. You’ll find no weekend course in overcoming personal bias at the Poynter Institute.
With newspaper circulations declining and the popularity of blogs soaring, perhaps we should start by admitting that there’s a problem.