Thursday, March 23, 2006

Yes, My Title Was Clever

I want to thank James for his well written answer to my question and his warm welcome back to this forum (how many posts do I need to get my name un-crossed out?). But here's my issue...

I agree on the need for analysis to help people understand news. But it seems that analysis is inherently tainted by its infusion of news and point of view. I see the spectrum from news to analysis to opinion to be as this: objective fact -> point of view infused analysis of objective fact -> point of view not necessarily with any objective fact.

The problem is that point of view varies from person to person and is influenced by many sociological factors including their ideological bend, race, income, religion, etc.

For example, the simply story of me traveling to work today can be described in several ways:
My point of view: "Harry casually made his way to work today, bumping into a friend in the metro."
My boss' point of view: "Harry traveled to work today, arriving 10 minutes late."
The PETA point of view: "Harry carelessly crushed an entire neighborhood of ants today on his walk to work."
The Sierra Club's point of view: "Harry needlessly kicked some dirt today on his walk to work destroying the natural habitats of downtown DC."
My Treo's point of view: "Harry rudely dropped me today while playing solitaire on his walk to work."
A liberal's point of view: "Harry walked to the Conservative Democratic organization at which he is employed needlessly crossing a picket line and purchasing a coffee from a large corporation which enslaves its workers."
A conservative's point of view: "Harry walked to his lefty foreign policy organization today hugging a tree on the way while plotting to destroy the social fabric of America."

The point is that every event can be portrayed in a million different ways based on the assumptions with which one approaches reporting. The question I pose for my James and that other guy is how do we avoid tainting reporting of news and legitimate analysis with unintended biased points of view?


Post a Comment

<< Home