Tuesday, November 1, 2016

On Liberalism, Conservatism, and Media Bias

I still have that email subscription to Glamour's newsletter - see previous posts on why. And while many of the articles are fluff (but hey, who doesn't like a good fluff sometimes?), one article this morning caught my eye as an interesting social analysis. Glamour writer, Aminata Dia spent three weeks reading only conservative news sources and reported back her results.

To give some context, Aminata describes herself as open-minded, non-judgmental, and curious. She recognizes that she is liberal and tends to get her news from "liberal media sources." She also recognizes that she herself works for what would be described as the "liberal media." But she saw this experience as opportunity to look at why conservatives hear the same piece of news and come away with such different opinions.

She offered many great conclusions, and one of the big take aways is that there is no such thing as unbiased media, on either side of the political spectrum. Photos are selected to make a person look bad (or good, depending on who it is), videos are edited to remove some of the context, and there's lots of finger-pointing, with each side of the spectrum blaming the other for the bad, and patting themselves on the back for the good:
So, what happened after week three? Weirdly enough, I realized that the conservative lens is sometimes oddly similar to the liberal one; there's a lack of objective reporting and a lot of finger-pointing when it comes to placing blame. And although aspects of the conservative mentality will continue to conflict with my views, I plan to keep reading and watching my right-winged counterparts to broaden my outlook and keep my sense of reality in check. In the end, I can’t say I walked away a Trump supporter, nor can I claim to have had any ah-ha! moment that made me realize The New York Times is really just a cesspool of liberal propaganda. But I will tell you one thing I learned: Now, more than ever, you are what you read.

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