Bias from a bygone era?

If you missed the front-page article in the Seattle Times yesterday on the Gates Foundation and the media, it’s worth skimming. Quickly. Over your morning cuppa joe.

It’s an odd piece. It reads as if there’s a ‘gotcha’. I waited for the gotcha. Really, I did. I kept thinking there was going to be something that made me think, “Well, yes indeed, that does give me pause. Hmmmmm….” But there wasn’t.

Instead, there were sentences like this:

Foundation officials say they don’t require ABC to report positive stories, though one of the grant’s goals is to “inspire and motivate the millions of viewers to take action.”

Oh no! How awful! The largest foundation on the planet wants to raise awareness about issues that ravage the developing world and yet get little attention in the developed world. TB, rotavirus, malnutrition. All killers. All largely ignored.

The more interesting article would have been this: In an age of blogs, Facebook, paper.li, and Twitter, is the quest for unbias coverage still relevant? Is unbias media democratic or is it antiquated?

An article like that would merit more than a cursory skim. It would spark debate and civic discourse. It would be newsworthy.

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