Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Giving Birth To A New Perspective

Again evidence of the informative and egalitarian nature of blogging comes to the fore in the most interesting ways.

The Courier Mail's blogspot blog, The Vital Interest is currently taking a look at the issue of abortion and specifically whether the drug RU486 should be made available to women as an option over surgical abortion.

While the issue should be one for robust debate, a side observation is the fascinating opportunity for direct reader-journalist interaction.

Moreover it strong identifies the particular biases of the reporters contributing to the blog as well as visceral reaction of those who consider abortion a moral right (oh the irony).

No one would argue that journalists aren't allowed to have their opinions, but it is clear that those beliefs impact on the way they report stories. A quick google search on a few by-lines will give you a fair idea of where those baseline biases lay.

Journalists are amongst the privileged professions that help shape public opinion. They also get to champion causes dear to their heart in a public forum. What the Internet has done is make it easier to see who has what agenda.

The next time a journalist tells you they are completely unbiased in their work, you may quite correctly laugh. There is no such thing as unbiased, just degrees of how much it shows through the veneer.

-- Nora

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