Media Bias

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Did anyone catch the piece in the New Statesman discussing the media's influence on the far-right? I dunno how much truth there is to it, but it makes sense to me and certainly rings true from what I've seen since 2016. There's definitely been a ramping up of rhetoric across the usual suspects, The Mail, Telegraph, Sun, Express and so on have been foaming at the mouth to an absurd degree for a couple of years now.

A partisan media is fuelling far-right extremism — we need to wake up | The press does not just reflect the attitudes of its readers, it creates and shapes them. - https://www.newstatesman.com/politi...dia-fuelling-far-right-extremism-we-need-wake

A particularly interesting and powerful recent study by two economists looked at US cable channels, which remain the main source of news on political campaigns, even in the digital age. They isolate viewers who view these channels simply because of their place in the channel ranking, rather than because of their political preferences, in order to look at how influential the channel was.

They found that the existence of Fox News boosted the Republican vote share in 2000 by about 0.5 per cent, which fits with another study that used a different method to isolate the influence of Fox. However, the growing viewership and increasingly right-wing stance of Fox swelled its impact on the Republican vote share in 2008 to a huge 6 per cent, a far greater influence than that of any other channel.

An equally revealing finding is that the political stance of Fox is far to the right of where it should be to maximise viewers. In other words, Fox is broadcasting material that maximises its ability to shift its audience to the right, rather than to maximise its profits.
... this study found that when Murdoch’s Sun switched support to Labour, it increased the party’s vote in 1997 by 2 per cent. That was not enough to influence the result, but when the Sun switched back to the Conservatives in 2010, it had a similar impact in the opposite direction, which was enough to influence that result. Newspapers influence attitudes towards austerity, and the best predictor of attitudes on immigration is newspaper readership.

Whether the rise of far-right parties and groups is an unintended consequence is less clear, particularly when the BBC chooses to broadcast an interview with a far-right leader straight after the murder of 50 people in New Zealand. There is academic evidence that media coverage of far-right groups such as Ukip increases support for them and, as I have already noted, this is partly why Trump became the Republican presidential candidate.

But the main reason the partisan media now use such language is to “fire up the base”, who in turn will influence politicians in the way media owners want. This route of influence is well-established in the US, which is why David Frum, a former speechwriter to George W. Bush, says “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us. And now we’re discovering we work for Fox.” We are now seeing it happen over Brexit, as Conservative MPs who oppose a no-deal Brexit are targeted for deselection and would-be leaders play to a base which is heavily influenced by the partisan press it reads.
 
Last edited:

Leo

Active member
... this study found that when Murdoch’s Sun switched support to Labour, it increased the party’s vote in 1997 by 2 per cent. That was not enough to influence the result, but when the Sun switched back to the Conservatives in 2010, it had a similar impact in the opposite direction, which was enough to influence that result.
which leads one to believe that lots of people have no core convictions, otherwise how could they swing to a polar opposite position and voting record in short time? tribalism seems to be the order of the day, so whatever side the tribe (aka, Murdoch's media outlets) is on is good enough for readers/viewers.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
which leads one to believe that lots of people have no core convictions, otherwise how could they swing to a polar opposite position and voting record in short time? tribalism seems to be the order of the day, so whatever side the tribe (aka, Murdoch's media outlets) is on is good enough for readers/viewers.
A colleague of mine told me he's voted Tory, Labour, Lib Dem, Green and UKIP. And this was an intelligent guy, well educated and qualified, doing a highly technical job.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Anyone else concerned about what's happening behind the scenes at the BBC?

They seem happy to give people on the right carte blanche to say more or less whatever they want whilst insisting on 'balance' when it comes to things like climate change, they're regularly caught allowing Tory and UKIP plants into the Question Time audience, Kuenssberg was found to have broken impartiality and accuracy guidelines in her reporting on Corbyn and there are rumours that at least one editor is cosy with Farage and Murdoch.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
The Telegraph has gone full InfoWars:

_20191221_103027.JPG

This is a problem for someone like my dad, who started buying it decades ago when it was a 'quality paper' that had obviously right-wing talking points in its opinion columns but could generally be relied on to report facts on the front page, and who doesn't realise that's no longer the case.
 

luka

Moderator
I was reading about the money pumped into climate change denialism today in that book 'dark money'. Mega zillions. And it worked really really well.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
BBC could restrict journalists’ use of Twitter

The BBC is considering restricting its journalists’ use of Twitter. If the plan is approved, top correspondents will be told to move away from using online platforms to break stories or offer instant analysis.

The proposal follows criticism of online comments made by staff during the election campaign. Political editor Laura Kuenssberg was attacked by some Jeremy Corbyn supporters for repeating, along with other pundits, a false allegation that a Tory minister’s aide had been punched by a Labour activist. North America editor Jon Sopel has meanwhile been accused of tweets that reveal a critical stance on Donald Trump.

Now Fran Unsworth, the director of news and current affairs, is believed to be keen to persuade journalists to end the practice of frequently posting on politics and current affairs.

“She said that it was likely she would meet some resistance, but that she wants to start a debate and was now contemplating asking correspondents to come off Twitter,” said a BBC journalist. Unsworth is thought to have outlined her plans at a party held in the BBC Council Chamber in old Broadcasting House.

This weekend, those close to Unsworth say she would only have joked about banning Twitter use altogether, but that she is believed to be serious about at least applying the BBC’s social media guidance more stringently. Speaking to the Guardian last weekend Unsworth acknowledged the journalistic effectiveness of Twitter and said: “We just need to reinforce our social media rules. But I don’t think it’s viable to say take a step back.”
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/dec/21/bbc-could-restrict-journalists-twitter
 

Leo

Active member
worst debate this cycle. while our democracy crumbles at the hand of a corrupt wannabe-authoritarian, fucking CNN loading up on good-TV soundbite gotcha questions, asked in a way that always pits one candidate against another ("Senator Warren believes XYZ, why is she wrong?").

I'd vote for the first candidate who tells the moderator "that's a stupid questions, no one cares about that bullshit".
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
which leads one to believe that lots of people have no core convictions
No bad thing in itself, I'd like it if people voted according to policies rather than the name of the side.... voting for what The Sun tells them to is worse than either though.
Agreed re Telegraph, I think my parents still read it.
With Climate Change denial I have two thoughts - one, there is a problem with Greta becoming this massive figure-head in that it allows people to concentrate on attacking her, what with her being an angry insane puppet who ought to be in school and so on, instead of engaging with the science which surely doesn't change whoever is saying it. Two - I don't get Climate Change Denial, I mean, I understand those who read that Telegraph article and believe it, but the people behind it, the scientists paid by Shell or whatever, the ones who know they are repeating discredited arguments and so on. Don't they care at all about what's going to happen? Do they have no children or friends who might outlive them and might be affected... do they think that it will be good to be rich when the world is on fire etc? It seems absolutely crazy to me.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Sure. I mean to say I don't have a problem with people changing party to the one whose policies best reflect their views. I even don't have a problem with people interrogating and possibly changing those views with careful consideration although not just twisting in the wind obviously.
 

Leo

Active member
ah, ok. but I get the sense sun readers didn't change their minds en mass after hours of deep conptemplation. they most likely just changed their mind because of what they read in the sun, which means they didn't have any core convictions of their own.
 
Top