Bias clear to see…

As I have said many times, I think the biases of journalism are more structural than ideological. Some of these structural biases, however, create the conditions that make ideological bias apparent–and seemingly intentional–to the reader. Norah Vincent reminds us that sweeping generalizations about bias in news media are ill-informed. This quote, however, needs clarification:

The bias is there on both sides. It’s unavoidable. And it’s time we started accepting the fact rather than keeping up this absurd pretense of detachment. Balance and full disclosure are what’s called for.

As the excellent Lying in Ponds site reminds us, bias may be ideological and/or partisan. Al Gore accused FOX et. al. of being partisan, not necessarily just conservative. While the institution of journalism should give up its “absurd pretense of detachment,” the struggle to remain fair, balanced, and open is, I believe, far more a struggle to remain non-partisan in news reporting.