25 January 2009

On Bias and "Impartiality" in Media

When you are
  • confronted by an overwhelming number of facts from numerous sources concerning a humanitarian disaster, and
  • you choose to ignore those facts or
  • consider those facts irrelevant to your decision on whether to support a humanitarian effort to address said disaster, then
you are guilty of bias and of "compromising public confidence in [your] impartiality."

To turn around and suggest you'll "reconsider" your decision "when things have calmed down and [you don't] have the same worries about the controversial nature" of supporting the emergency effort doesn't help. It only demonstrates that this particular controversy inheres not in the reality of the disaster or in the humanitarian effort, but in the BBC's own perception. That alone speaks volumes.

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