When I was in college a journalism professor addressed the topic of media bias. He said that biased media is any media that disagrees with your point of view. Everyone had their own selective perspective, and if you disagree with them, you are obviously biased. A career in the small town newspaper business showed me that the man knew what he was talking about.
I don’t care whether you work for a nationally circulated media outlet with millions of viewers or readers, or a small town rag with a circulation of 3,500, sooner or later someone is going to accuse you of being biased. I considered it a point of honor that it happened to me on at least a monthly basis with the newspapers I published.
And you’d be surprised at some of the things that set people off. When I was publishing my newspaper in the White Mountains of Arizona, a high school principal was busted for facilitating drug sales from his office and displaying a large knife when a student refused to pay for some pot he had gotten a week earlier.
Now, you would think that this would put the whole community up in arms, wouldn’t you? Not if you’re in a small town dominated by one particular church, and the accused is a member of that church and very well plugged into the good old boy network. I was accused of yellow journalism, some businesses canceled their advertising because of my bias, and people canceled their subscriptions.
Of course, there were other community members that appreciated me bringing the story to light, and I picked up as many subscribers and advertising dollars as I lost, if not more. But there were businesses that had been steady advertisers who never spent another nickel with me in the years that followed.
Politics, even small town politics, will definitely get you accused of bias. And I’ll admit that sometimes my tendency to be outspoken may have teetered on that edge. For example, the time I suggested that all that the then city manager of Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona needed to improve his attitude was two bran muffins and a strong cup of black coffee every morning. Can you believe some people didn’t appreciate me saying that?
But you know what? If you were to ask Miss Terry what first drew her interest to me, she would tell you that it was those same outspoken opinions. So biased or not, I guess that makes me the winner.
Just the other day someone told me that the national news media is biased in favor of the LBGQT community because they keep talking about the 49 victims of the Pulse Nightclub massacre here in Florida. He insisted that they should be saying 50 victims, since the shooter, Omar Mateen, was killed by police, which makes him a victim, too. No, that made him a scumbag who got what he had coming to him.
Oops, does that make me sound biased? Oh well, in the words of the great and powerful Popeye, I yam what I yam.
Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of The Ghost from the Sea, book 8 in my pal Bobbi Holmes’ popular Haunting Danielle mystery series about an Oregon seaside bed and breakfast with a resident ghost of a previous owner who has been dead for almost ninety years. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.
Thought For The Day – People today are drowning in information while starving for wisdom.