How Independent Is The News Media?

Not to belabor the point that there is a bias in news reporting because in a general sense that notion isn’t even debatable. But what do you call it when news is not published, not printed?

Rather than call that a bias, it seems to me to be a matter of independence. Left talkers like Mike Papantonio say that the media is owned by the political Right. Ridiculous I know, but that’s his story and he’s sticking to it.

So here’s an example of bias by omission, where a news media outlet doesn’t print a legitimate news story, when on the same subject and with the same players, the news story was front page, above the fold, and front cover.

Speaking of the debut of Air America Radio host Mike Papantonio and his Ring of Fire radio program. In January 2004 it was big news in the Pensacola News Journal, front page, above the fold. In the Independent, another local weekly paper it earned a front cover. Two of them in fact. Including a spot on ABC’s WEAR-TV

In 2007, AAR filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The PNJ printed a 2 column inch AP syndicated blurb. Nothing else. It was portrayed by the Independent as entering its Golden Age. Later in 2007, Independent publisher Rick Outzen credited AAR as being a good thing. Providing a ‘refreshing voice’ for talk radio. He also said this . . .

News media should give perspective to the news. More voices are better. Then the public will truly be informed.

So last month, when Air America filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, liquidating all remaining assets, did you even know? Not if you depend on the Pensacola News Journal and the Independent for your news and information.

I know it shouldn’t be the case, but do you think that online sponsorship and advertising dollars has a deleterious effect on a publisher’s independence when it comes to reporting the news? Specifically these publishers?

Seems like Papantonio has caught on to the same game that he accuses the political Right of doing because his advertising ‘investments’ in the PNJ and the Independent seem to have payed off.

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