My love & hate relationship with BBC News

October 12, 2007 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Politics | 1 Comment
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As a keen observer of the news I have gradually become very picky over what I receive as news sources. For example, the only newspaper I used to like would be the Globe & Mail. The only online news sources I would trust would be reuters and the AP. And as for television news sources, forget it. I would find a problem with each and every one of them.

My main problem with journalism would be what I perceive to be a lack of objectivity. But recently I have queried myself: “Does good journalism have to be objective? Does it not depend on the context?” Perhaps, for example, newspapers should not be judged solely on objective news reports. We all know about the editorials but maybe its also acceptable to acknowledge the inherent biases that occur in a said paper’s regular columns and news spots as well, if it is taken in the appropriate context. I’m beginning to think that that can be a succinct possibility.

But then of course there is the television news. I by and large cannot stand it. Fox news is intolerable and CNN doesn’t fare much better. I find it too dumb, shallow and right-wing. So at one point I thought BBC World news offered a decent alternative. One advantage of BBC World is that, true to its name, you get to find out about issues throughout the world; while the half-hours of course repeat themselves, that half-hour is filled with variety. And yet, I noticed that BBC has its own problems. For one thing, whereas CNN is a little too right wing, BBC is definitely too left wing. You can hear it in the nature of the reports and the language that is used. A famous example is their inconsistent usage of the words militants or terrorists–and I know that in the past whenever Israel would suffer an attack from a suicide-bombing, it would be described as a ‘militant bombing’ but whenever they have described their own problems with terrorism–like with the London train bombings of July ’05 (’06?)–said problems are usually referred to as ‘acts of terrorism’ committed by ‘terrorist cells’. I also have found much of their reporting to be elitist, whereby the content of the story is reflected by the reporter’s, anchor(wo)man’s and programmer’s views on what is wrong and what is right for society.

And yet, and yet…who cares? As long as I am aware of the inherent biases, does it really matter so long if I learn new facts about the world? A lot of the reporting at least seems to be of good quality, even with its biases. that’s more than I can say for any of the CNN variations, and I’m not even going to bother with the Fox comparison anymore. So I don’t know, does anyone else have any clarifications and/or corrections and/or ideas and/or opinions about what the best way should be to obtain news? I’m still a little stumped on this one.


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  1. Yes, do not be so darn fussy. I like CNN – Anderson Cooper very much. And he never gives HIS own opinion. I sometimes even like Bill O’Reilly’s take on some things. I’ll even find myself agreeing with him – like a few weeks ago there was a story of an elementary school where a Muslem mother wanted the school to celebrate Ramadan, like they do Xmas, etc. (He objected).
    Anyway, I watch news from all sources & stick to the story presented.

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