Media's Road to Recovery: 'The First Step Is Admitting The Problem'

November 9th, 2008 7:10 PM

As NewsBusters previously reported, the Washington Post's ombudsman admitted Sunday that her paper's coverage of this year's presidential campaign was clearly biased towards Barack Obama.

Although that shouldn't surprise any sane person in this country, such a mea culpa is just good marketing unless the entity confessing the inappropriate behavior plans on doing something to correct it.

Jennifer Rubin of Commentary magazine agreed Sunday, and suggested that the road to recovery is first admitting the problem (picture courtesy Grinning Planet):

The MSM is confessing. Yes, they were biased. Sure, they favored one side. But they don’t quite come out and say why. Worse, they show no inclination to do anything about it. [...]

But the media resists this interpretation, straining to come up with other rationales. They love a “good story,” or they are attracted to the “newest star.” But these justifications falter with minimal scrutiny. (Sarah Palin is the newest politician, and certainly the rise from college basketball player to VP nominee is “good copy.”) They really can’t admit they are in the tank for ideological reasons. If so, their entire self-image as objective guardians of “truth” would collapse. And, moreover, they might have to hire different people–ones who thought differently and could balance their coverage. [...]

Some think it would be nice if new media entirely replaced the old. I don’t. I think there is a need for non-ideological, fact-finding news organizations. While some are rooting for the extinction of old media,  I would settle for some soul-searching and reform. It is not that hard. But, as with any dysfunctional behavior, the first step is admitting the problem.

Nicely said, Jennifer. I quite agree.

Read the whole thing.