Wednesday, December 12, 2012

If you think you can...

One of my favorite sayings is:  If you think you can, your probably right, if you think you can't, you are right.

If you start anything believing you can't do it - odds are your going to prove yourself right.

I've been thinking about the possibility of creating an unbiased news site.  The more I think about it the more sure I become that it can't be done.  I think you can make a new site less biased by having a team of reporters who fill the basic archetypes of bias - right wing, left wing, centrist, libertarian, socialist, atheist, fundamentalist Christian & Muslim,  etc.  Require every team member to start the article by stating facts - all facts must be agreed on my each team member. The person with the idea writes the lead, then any team members who want to write a counter point do so.   The requirement is that everyone works from the same set of facts.

So far so good.  Right up till we try to decide what is a fact and what isn't. Accounting is easier than law, law is easier then art, art is easier then religion.  As you move farther away from the rational hard science, things become fuzzy. In a political scandal, it may be that you'll never agree on a basic set of facts  other than using direct quotes.

Then there is the bias of what you choose to report and what you choose to ignore.

Perhaps if reporters (journalists) simply started each article with a list of facts that could be verified and stuck to those, news would be noticeably less biased.  Mark opinion clearly as opinion.  The more I thought about this the more sure I became that only a very few people would actually want to read it.

In my opinion - the masses like being told what to think.  It's much less work, you can watch the news and feel like your informed, and then with out thinking about it too much, you can proceed to your favorite TV show, or sport and just relax.

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