Jack Shafer’s third article in his series on media bias offers a compendium of reader comments. He’s planning more articles in this series, and I will continue to cover them here.
I’m going to let this installment stand without comment for now, except to say that his responses point out how complex this issue truly is compared to the simplistic, dichotomous treatment it usually gets. And I found this quote interesting, from a professor who thinks the press has a new set of Ws (i.e. the standard reporter’s questions):
Who cares about a particular piece of information? What are they willing to pay to find it, or what are others willing to pay to reach them? Where can media outlets or advertisers reach these people? When is it profitable to provide the information? Why is this profitable? The answers to these questions drive story selections, generate careers for celebrity reporters, and often leave a set of citizens dissatisfied with the way that the media cover politics and society.
This is an excellent example of the commercial bias.