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Bias in the news media is so obvious that it’s not even debatable. That said, news people in the past at least tried to deny it was happening. Well, that was then and this is now. These days, it is not an not even hidden any more. Check out these examples.
- MSNBC’s Joy Reid and her guest political analyst Matthew Dowd, suggested that the media is too neutral in their reporting on the Republican party, and that they actually need to ramp up their hostility. Reid made the point that both sides are “not the same,” and urged reporters to actively tell voters that the GOP is a threat to freedom.
- CNN news host Don Lemon also asserted that Republicans and Democrats should not be treated equally in media coverage. He insists that it is imperative that he be able to state his truth when reporting the news.
- Another CNN host, Brian Stelter, also stated that Republicans should not be given the same coverage as Democrats.
- NBC news anchor Lester Holt claimed that reporters don’t need to hear both sides of a story in order to determine what the truth is. He went on to say that fairness is overrated.
- Similar arguments have been made by MSNBCs Lawrence O’Donnell, New York Times Magazine writer Nicole Hannah-Jones, former New Republic editor Peter Beinart, and former TIME managing editor Richard Stengel.
In fact, A Pew Research Center survey of nearly 12,000 journalists found that 55% believe that every side does not always deserve equal coverage.
So where does this kind of mindset come from? It comes from the worldview beliefs of the journalists themselves.
In addressing the topic of fairness in the media, a distinction needs to be made regarding two types of reporting – news reporting and editorial opinion. When it comes to opinion, any and everyone who wants to put their personal ideas in the public square should be welcome to do it. This kind of public debate is healthy and provides everyone with the opportunity to be exposed to differing ideas, and personally work through the complexities of various issues. News, on the other hand, is the reporting of the facts. News reporting can certainly be the foundation for various people’s opinions, but the facts themselves should be reported in a neutral fashion.
Truth, justice, and fairness are part and parcel of a biblical worldview. The Bible is very clear that God’s very character expresses these traits in a completely perfect way. And He has revealed that His character is the standard for human morality. If a biblical perspective is used to determine how news is reported, then truth is the bottom line.
A naturalistic worldview, on the other hand, does not recognize the existence of any kind of objective basis for morality, so even truth and fairness are conceived of in relative terms. With that as a standard, it is possible to have “my truth” or “fairness based on my opinion.” It is this belief about fairness in reporting the news that dominates the thinking of the reporters referenced above.
The question then becomes, which point of view represents the structure of actual reality? If the God of the Bible exists and the Bible is truly a revelation from Him, then reporting truth has actual meaning. If God does not exist, as the Naturalists believe, then there is no reason to be concerned with morality as it is expressed in the Bible.
The truth is, the God of the Bible exists!
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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