Skip to comments.The AP’s “New Distinctiveness” Memo Points to Increased Risk of Bias
Posted on 12/15/2011 11:08:40 AM PST by Nachum
From Accuracy in Medias Logan Churchwell:
An internal memo penned by the Associated Press Managing Editor Mike Oreskes was leaked and featured on sites such as The Huffington Post and Gawker this morning. As an effort to keep up with the rapidly changing news cycle, Oreskes is now offering a new direction for the wire service.
The new plan of action is called The New Distinctiveness. But why the change? The AP defines the problem:
AP wins when news breaks, but after an hour or two were often replaced by a piece of content from someone else who has executed something more thoughtful or more innovative. Often its someone who has taken what we do (sometimes our reporting itself) and pushed it to the next level of content: journalism thats more analytical, maybe a fresh and immediate entry point, a move away from text, a multimedia mashup or a different story form that speaks more directly to users.
To face this challenge, Oreskes will be leading assignment editors and reporters to respond quicker, focus on story themes (dig deeper into the story), diversify communication methods and most important, report with voice.
This reporting with voice plank of the proposal should set off alarm bells. The full passage states (emphasis added):
(Excerpt) Read more at bigjournalism.com ...
Don’t they already do this with their “reporting”?
you mean report with the big liberal megaphone.
Basically, they are going to start editorializing and call it reporting. Like the NYT does.
They already do this. They just concocted a name for it.
It looks like they will go from lying through omission to just plain lying.
The real name for it is “propoganda”. They already do it, they’re just saying they need to get better at it.
They have been reporting with "voice", unfortunately that "voice" is trite, commonplace, stale, tired, pedestrian, worn, hackneyed, clichéd, banal, unoriginal, stock, corny, and all too predictably biased.
And people don't want to hear it anymore. So hire some real reporters. You might find some good ones on Free Republic and similar sites.
Bias and objectivity and exclusionary factoids are the problem with most MSM today. And each can morf or be the result of the other.
Facts left out (because they weren't pertinent or verified) invites bias. The vetting of sources and truth would seem black and white, but is remarkably objective depending on the media content.
Is it more important to vet Bill Clinton's accuser than Herman Cain's?
A friend of mine is an editor at Rueters. The editor and I have debated bias. I won by proving how accidental it can often be. I respect and applaud the intelligence and objectivity of this particular editor. But he/she is a liberal through and through.
Some time after our discussion, I sent him/her three articles from different print media sources on the same story. Each laid out the facts in different order. They quoted the same or similar sources. One article left out several facts that were reported in the other two. One article included quotes (opinions) from someone who was close to part of the story. And one, the longest story was bland, presented the most facts, qualified the quotes, presented counter comments where opinions were quoted and was a boring read.
The article was about the lack of WMDs found in Iraq. Two were clearly biased against Powel and Bush. The editor wrote me back:
“I see your point. In fact, it now occurs to me that the importance or relevance for factoid print inclusion is subjective to a particular reporter/editor and forced by print space and deadline restrictions. We usually must force a story into a limited space. That often restricts what can be included in any given story.”
My response: “Bloggers and internet news reporting has no such restrictions. This may be why subscribers are gravitating away from the old media.”
Of do they mean "increased risk of getting caught"?
Translation: Do more of what doesn’t work already.
The “voice” they report with bears a disturing resemblance to that which emits from the sphincter at the nether end if the digestive tract.