Get Email Updates
Demented Diary
Going Wodwo
Crochet Lady
Dan Gent
Sky Friday
Kindle Daily Deal
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

2412188 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Media Language
Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (5)

I try to remain aware of extreme language in news stories that I read, and often force myself to read about the same story, same event, covered by journalists and commentators who are polar opposites in viewpoints, as well as by more middle-of-the-road writers (are there any?) Extravagantly extreme language is easy to discern; other forms of language bias are not.

One subtle form of editorializing distresses me the most, because it so easily slips under the radar--the use of alternate words to describe the same person or event.

Example: one reporter visited a Senator in her office to interview her about Medicare. In the introduction to the article, he described her desk as "untidy" with papers and folders askew.

He then went on to summarize the Medicare-related interview.

I happened upon another column, written by a person with views opposing those of the Senator. This person also was present during the same press interview, and described the Senator's desk as "slovenly".

The writer then followed with a report of the same interview.

The point I'm making is that the reader's mindset for the interview coverage was framed, at least in part, by the language used in the introduction. Neither person told a lie, exactly, but the pejorative connotations of "slovenly" are obvious.

Yet both reporters frame their reports as objective and unbiased.

Second example: Three ways of describing the same woman:
--slut (extreme language, rejected far and wide)
--unmarried mother
What picture comes to mind for each one? Racial differences?

A third example: Yesterday evening, I heard two analyses of a projected earnings report. One analyst called it "optimistic"; the other called it "pie-in-the-sky". Both are suggesting that the report is overly positive, but how different the implications of the descriptive words.

Unbiased reporting? I think not, which is why I try to read or listen to the same news event from different sources, in an effort to counteract the hidden agendas.

Read/Post Comments (5)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 JournalScape.com. All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.