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The Philosopher Intelligent (and mature) discussions only.

View Poll Results: What do you consider the best form of news media?
newspaper 4 26.67%
television 1 6.67%
radio 1 6.67%
internet 9 60.00%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old May 6th, 2007, 09:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
zabu of nΩd
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TV news: good or bad?

This is something I've been wondering about for a while now. There are a lot of negative aspects of today's televised news, such as selective reporting, frequent bias, sensationalism, immature handling of serious or tragic events, and generally formatting the news to maximise entertainment value. On the other hand, most people are too lazy, or apathetic, to learn about current events any other way, so you could argue that the entertainment aspects of TV news are responsible for keeping many more people informed than would otherwise be possible. And there are some who believe that bias can be addressed by watching a balance of liberal-leaning and conservative-leaning programs (i.e Fox News vs. MSNBC - I don't know what the equivalent would be in other countries).

So, is there hope for TV news? Or is it simply a tool for spreading bias and ignorance about important world issues? Would the world be a better place if, say, only text-based news were available? Even more broadly, is it better to have more news-ignorant people in the world, or more 'pseudo-informed' people who rely on TV for their education on current events?

I'd be interested also to hear how people typically get their news, and whether they consider their sources adequate or not.

As for me, most of my news comes from Wikipedia's front page - not very comprehensive, I must admit, but probably pretty neutral. Every now and then, I see the news on TV - though usually when I'm with friends or family, since I don't have a TV at my apartment. Occasionally I miss a prominent national issue, but word of mouth via friends usually makes up for this.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 09:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
MetalBooger
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newspaper, i read at least 2 a day. Thats first.

Second would be CBC news/radio followed by satirical shows like rick mercer, daily show, Colbert and Bill Maher. 60 min, few CNN anchors are also very good, and BBC world has excelllent coverage. I havent heard much about the new France world news station but its supposed to be excellent also. And doesnt Christopher Hitchens report for MSNBC and Fox? BBC and CBC are the best however for news in my opinion, simply because they tend to project a mature classy environment. Overall i tend to get a good view of the events from many perspectives. Entertainment news is also fun to watch, but i can only hear so much about lindsay lohan at a time.

Most people who are poorly informed about world events dont watch the aforementioned stations, I notice local stations are the worst and anything with a name like a radio station is for sure for suckers.

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Old May 6th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'd like to say that all TV news is crap, but I thoroughly enjoy the Colbert Report. In general, I think TV is a detrimental medium for news, as it almost forces it into being strictly entertainment, no matter the subject. I see the printed word as less overtly sensational, requiring some interaction from the reader, and thus broadening the manner in which the news can be recieved (i.e., words in a newspaper aren't limited stricktly to the field of entertainment).
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Old May 7th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I really dont know which one is worse. The internet is full of unsubstantiated crap, TV is beyong terrible, radio is pure opinion, and the newspapers are so poorly written and double-checked--sensationalized and dumbed down--well, I just dont know.

I guess I am of the opinion one has to find some good newspapers online (including foreign papers), understand their biases, and then take the news with a grain of salt. I do find Colbert and Stewart do an excellent job of presenting some news in a intelligent and witty way.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 05:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just a question, what news stations do you listen to? What newspapers do you listen to? I always find certain anchors and journalists to be excellent in the tangible newspapers that i get.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 09:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here in Australia, the commercial networks (channels 7, 9 and 10) have the typical "entertainment" news, which will include a bunch of local stories about houses burning down, robberies, car crashes etc, a smattering of world events like the war in Iraq, French riots etc, and some feel good bullshit to end on a high note. I generally find them unwatchable.

Fortunately we also have a couple of non(less)-commercial stations (ABC, SBS) with decent unbiased intelligently written stories and a much better balance of local and overseas news coverage.

I wouldn't say there's a "best" format for news, there are good and bad in all. It's up to the viewer/listener/reader to be discerning.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 05:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Cant believe fewer ppl read the newspaper than internet, thats pretty dang bad. Not only is the actual paper from newspaper handy for everything from packing boxes to lighting fires, insulation, etc, but its also a great compilation of important stories, government policies and what not.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 09:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No large news source presents a truly credible story, just fact embelished with three times as much bullshit. There are less-known sources that can sometimes be found to present credible information, but for the most part it is up to the judgement of the viewer. It is possible to pick the story out of some of the bullshit news outlets release, but to trust any source at all blinds you to the reality.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 10:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." - Thomas Jefferson
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Old May 9th, 2007, 02:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Television because I'm one of those media consumed people and the news station over here seems to report the news pretty accurately as long as you can ignore opinions of others from facts.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 06:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
MetalBooger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldScratch View Post
"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." - Thomas Jefferson
I never knew Thomas Jefferson was that stupid.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 06:10 PM   #12 (permalink)
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TV = sitting on your ass, pretending you're getting something out of what is basically an exercise in wasting your time in a friendly manner.

Newspaper = reading what others consider news, which is usually a neurotic discharge of their fears.

No thanks.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 11:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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where do you guys get the news then?
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Old May 10th, 2007, 12:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by derbeder View Post
where do you guys get the news then?
1. Do you need the news? Almost none of it affects you, except to depress you with irrelevant shit.

2. What news do you need that you won't hear from others? People never shut up about this fuckin' crap.

3. If you MUST have news, is it entertainment/a way to pass the time, or an actual need?

I've lived years at a time without exposing myself to news, and the level of positivity in my psychology was correspondingly brilliant. Avoid the news.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 12:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I like to have some information about what's going on around me. For someone who isn't interested in anything outside of his immediate environment, there would be no need to follow the news. Even if the sources can be unreliable and the newspapers can put biased emphases and distort some of the information, one certainly does learn a whole lot of world events through newspapers. Unless there is no knowledge gained by the testimony (or reports) of others, one can obtain knowledge about the world through newspapers just as one can obtain knowledge through other people's reports. It does require some skill in seeing through distortions, but that can be gained at least partly by reading several newspapers that may tend towards different political viewpoints. If I had not been reading the news, I wouldn't have heard about the current situation in Turkey having to do with the presidential elections, for instance. A lot may be misrepresented, but some things pass through the filter, and there is usually no other feasible way of coming to know the things that are accurately represented in the media in any other way.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 01:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
zabu of nΩd
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Also, more theoretically speaking, if a democracy is to work, then those participating in the democracy need to be informed about the policies/politicians they are expected to vote upon. Regular reporting on national/global events is an integral part of any democratic process.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 03:46 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vihris-gari View Post
Also, more theoretically speaking, if a democracy is to work, then those participating in the democracy need to be informed about the policies/politicians they are expected to vote upon. Regular reporting on national/global events is an integral part of any democratic process.
That's a very interesting point, and considering most news sources are biased one way or the other, there isn't a great deal of hope for the masses to be properly informed.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 05:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I never knew Thomas Jefferson was that stupid.
Surely you cannot be that obtuse. Can you not recognize sarcasm and a not so thinly-veiled assault on what even then was a purely agedga-driven, singularly opinionated media machinery?
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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:17 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Obviously, the biggest problem is how these newspapers and radio and TV stations are now publically traded companies, generally owned by huge comglomerates. Newspapers are a profit albatross--falling readership, and thus profits. Television and Radio is not much different--falling viewer and listener-ship. Hence, if one hasnt noticed, all the major newspapers have been slashing staff left and right, and the smaller papers have long since been gutted into tabloid clones of one another. All the foreign offices are gone, and so is most of the investigative reporting. Its not any different with radio and T.V. The T.V. stations do maybe one investigative report a day, and spend the rest of the time reading the police scanner or repacking nationally produced stories. Radio isnt much different from TV, apartf from having talking heads with unsubstaniated opinions.

The problem is thus clearly capitalism. However, state-run media is not any better, and might be worse. And this is a huge problem for the world, as there is no one else to do this reporting and disseminate it to the public. The internet still reaches a select number of people, and is generally totally unsubstantiated. It does provide quite a bit of potential however (video-clips, blogs, etc).
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:09 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I never knew Thomas Jefferson was that stupid.
Ahem...
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:14 PM   #21 (permalink)
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where do you guys get the news then?
When news becomes history, it becomes relevant. Otherwise it is useless, except as entertainment, or if it directly relates to you. Basically, I get my news by reading books on semi-modern events, and reading reports online about vitally important events. The only meaningful thing that can be drawn from news is insight into how meaningless media is (hence the modern world, as media is a reflection of the world), and this can be easily drawn from the ambient information that living in the world constantly grants, without actually watching news.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:20 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by vihris-gari View Post
Also, more theoretically speaking, if a democracy is to work, then those participating in the democracy need to be informed about the policies/politicians they are expected to vote upon. Regular reporting on national/global events is an integral part of any democratic process.
This is a rather obvious problem, as a key component of [modern] "democracy" is [corporate] capitalism, and capitalism infallibly prevents news from being accurate. Democracy can't work - simple. It can facade as working for a short period of time, nothing more.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 08:00 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
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where do you guys get the news then?
Before the internet I was a voracious newspaper reader. I eventually got less and less from the exercise, however. Honestly, now I seek out news that is uniquely important to me online(at sites I find to be reliable, independant and straight-forward)or will occasionally peruse a local rag to keep abreast of hometown goings-on and the like. Beyond that I think infoterror has it about right...and I rarely if ever feel uninformed or at loss to dicuss matters of any real worth or relevance.
I do watch tv news for the weather and such, but pay relatively little attention to much else.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 08:52 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Of course, im probably stating the obvious, but the news is crucial in informing the public of government policy, business, politics, events, opinions/arguments, and of course the cultural aspects. How else am i supposed to know whose running for mayor if i dont read the paper? Or if the economy is in a downturn? Or if i should spend that 12 bucks to go see spider man? I can get through a good classy newspaper in a half hour and get a good summary of what is happening so i dont act like an idiot when i need to go out in public.

I got a good recipe for stew the other day,in my local paper, it was great. I also found out that tony blair was gonna retire, asking the question who will take his place, and furthermore, how will this change policies in the world and therefore influence me. If you are easily influenced and believe everything you read, then i dont suggest you read anything, there are good daycares that handle people of that stupidity, but for those of us who need to learn about the world and can handle a little bias, often a newspaper is the best way.

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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I got a good recipe for stew the other day,in my local paper, it was great.
HOLY SHIT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalBooger View Post
I also found out that tony blair was gonna retire, asking the question who will take his place, and furthermore, how will this change policies in the world and therefore influence me.
WOW!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalBooger View Post
I never knew Thomas Jefferson was that stupid.
GENIUS!!!!
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