From my comment in the below post, media, which I've chosen to add as a new post...
Let's break this down.
News is supposed to be "what's going on right now."
What people decide to report is where the bias factor comes in, because choice/discretion is involved. For example, and like Michael Moore pointed out in "Bowling for Columbine," the Canadian news reports on things like potholes or new community gardens.
Perhaps more "positive" than crime, fires and death, it's still "biased" towards what those news directors believe is newsworthy.
Obviously when the news is "tied" to the free market, it has to produce a successful "product" if it wants to earn those advertising revenue dollars. Even if it's "public" radio or TV it has to appease what its supporters (the listener/viewer) want to be covered.
You (Spooner) asked in your comment:
"How plausible is it to attempt to provide news for both sides, or do we abandon that idea entirely?"
Not only is this a leading question (it makes the answer have to be either 'plausible' or an admission that we've 'abandoned the idea'), but a good one. I think it's completely plausible for news to cover both sides, if that's what the listener/viewer wants.
"Is it better to know the leanings of your media source than have them hide it?"
Obviously it's better, but who's going to admit "Our media is liberal" or "Our news covers conservative goings-on in a positive manner"?
Should a news organization's "leanings" be defined by that organization, or by outside organizations, like it is now?
What makes a media outlet "liberal" or "conservative" in the first place?
Using traditional definitions of the terms, "liberal" media would be covering a vastly wide array of topics with an equally-as-vast range of angles, sources, commentary and such. "Conservative" media would cover the basics using only strictly-factual information.
In this light, every news media I've seen is by nature "liberal."
Getting back to the issues at hand (also prompted by your comment), the yeomanification of media and information makes it ironically possible for
A) many more perspectives to be added to our daily choice
and, at the same time,
B) the prospect that people could become even more narrow-minded
My solution, like everything, lies in personal choice. And don't get me wrong, I've wrestled with the devil's-advocate query of "but how can uneducated people tell the difference? Aren't they being manipulated/taken advantage of? They don't really have a choice"
Perhaps, but in a sense that's not my problem. My problem is producing good news or being a good teacher and hope that my good/educational programming reaches out to a thirsty mind somewhere. Of course what I think is "good" or "educational" is, in essence, biased, and that's why you can either listen to it or not.
I've reached a point here in this comment where my original post began:
the "media" is such an interesting concept. It's just regular ol' people "informing" other regular ol' people about some thing or another.
The way this is happening is changing, and I think it's completely fascinating.
Might I also add here that all of this is why, in my mind, spelling, punctuation and grammar are so very important, even in personal web logs. Contrary to some's opinion, by attempting to correct these things I'm not trying to be annoying or nitpicky. Perhaps it has to do a little with my inherited eye for detail (not my fault).
But more importantly, it just keeps some sort of 'standard' running through the ba-gillions of data out here in bloggerland.