Is it possible to have a unbiased (news) organization

I’m talking about such orgs that comment or report news or comment or report on others commenting or reporting on news.


It was inspired by this thread:
Is F.A.I.R. an unbiased organization

I’ve always took it that if people were talking about a news topic, with the exception of just reporting numbers (which could be also slanted if done in certain ways), you are dealing with people’s interpretation of events and will have some bias.

That doesn’t mean that Rush Limbaugh can’t report with a liberal slant if he so chooses, but barring that, one will tend to use their own views to help them understand the events and to put them into perspective.

For this reason I never accepted the premise of an objective media, and to be honest it is insulting to even suggest that a media source is objective.

This is also the reason I think Fox News does so well, it lets you know the political views of the hosts ahead of time, and likes to be know as a network with more of a conservative slant, though they also have hosts on both sides. The important thing is they recognize that their reporters/commentators are real humans, have a mind, and certain views and that does influence on how they will report, and it is important for the public to know for the public to honestly make up their minds.

I don’t think news agencies focus as much on being objective as they do on being neutral and balanced.

To take the snowmobiles in Yellowstone NP story for an example; most of the video media reports I saw would present the basic facts of the situation, then seek commentary from advocates from both sides of the issue. The media can then claim that since their reporters make no judgement or evaluation of the advocates, they are fair.

Subtle bias in format and choice of which advocates to air can make a difference in how the report is received by the viewer. There are probably numerous ways a news director can slant a story and still maintain the facts; pro; con format.


I’ve yet to find any news organisation that’s unbiased, but on the occasions I’ve listened to it, the BBC World Service news comes close.

Even the decision to include or exclude an article or a fact or even a word can demonstrate bias.

First part “Hahaha”.
Second part, that is the really tricky problem. You have to make decisions on what to report and how to report it. In order to do that you have to decide what is important about the story, but deciding what is important about a story is easily and heavily influenced by your political and philosophical leanings. It seems to be almost impossible not to be.

Maud’Dib makes some excellent points. Additionally, you have to consider that newspeople need to be paid. This money has to come from somewhere. The source of this money is ultimately the deciding factor in what news gets reported, and how. :wink:


As a guy who works in a newsroom with hundreds of people-- not to mention the thousands of others who operate in the same company-- how the hell can we all be expected to have the same bias operating on any story? We all have our own backgrounds, opinions, ideas, political views, etc…

On top of that, most of us are trained and encouraged to be objective and fair. This doesn’t always happen, but I never understand why people think it’s absolutely impossible to be dispassionate about a given topic. If anything, most of the journalists I know bend too much the other way on a topic they care about.

I don’t know… I’ve never had a problem with Fox. They seem pretty fair and balanced.

Don’t bother asking… Yes, I’m being sarcastic.