Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

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Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby fireflydances » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:24 pm

“It's my credo that newspaper publishers can no longer afford to be apolitical. Axel Springer, owner of Bild and other publications What kind of relationship should there be between the media and government?
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:36 am

That is a hard question to answer. The government needs media in order to get information to the public. The media wants to dig around and test what they are being told. Somewhere between propaganda and muck raking there must be a truth. I am not sure how that can ever be achieved with the state of both the government/politicians and the media these days.

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby Buster » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:14 pm

Somewhere between propaganda and muck raking there must be a truth. I am not sure how that can ever be achieved with the state of both the government/politicians and the media these days.


Nice, nebraska!
It all becomes too much to sift through, too many conflicting "truths", none of which seem accurate.

I am inclined towards anything that reveals the biases of the media claiming to be reporting facts. If you only watch Fox News, and only talk to people who also watch Fox News, you are going to believe that the "facts" they deliver are, indeed, the only truth. If I know you got your information from pop media, then I can begin to evaluate your response.

A triangulation of perspective is one way of looking at news, but it requires a huge commitment of fact-finding. If you can manage to find diametrically opposed international responses to an issue, as well as some first-hand reports from ground zero, you might begin to be able to conjure up the beginnings of an informed response of your own.

So yes, I think newspapers should be political, and up front about their perspectives, their sources, and their biases.

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby fireflydances » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:00 pm

I am a throwback and an idealist, a romantic I guess. I want my news media to operate with a strict code of ethics, driven to get to the bottom of things, but AWARE of their sensitive position. I want organizations that care deeply about their country's well being. Who see themselves as valuable players who bring facts to the public table when opinions become overly heated.

Note that I didn't say any of this was likely to happen. I believe that the US is so completely mired in opposing political viewpoints, that the need to win the fight (declare victory over our cultural wars) matters more than facts. Propaganda and manipulation rule whether in government or outside government. Media has become fascinated by the gadgets of communication, and their bottom line is controlled by entertainment magnets anyway, whose purpose is increasing readership or viewership. There are few journalistic organizations left. Let's hope they figure out a way to keep the lights on.
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:54 am

I'm with you, Firefly.

Unfortunately, I don't think it's realistic in this day and age.....maybe it never was.
:-/
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby Buster » Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:07 am

Oh, firefly, what a lovely thought! But your vision is far from where we are today, and, perhaps, impossible to achieve. I mean, try asking your siblings what happened at the last family gathering ;-) There are as many interpretations of the facts as there are observers.

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby fireflydances » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:59 am

Interpretations of the facts are fine. A truly good journalist "gathers" the information and a plurality of views is provided. Of necessity!

But what we have now is filtered versions of information where either the newscaster or the corporation behind the newscaster skew the story this way or that -- to fit the current trend, to fit the political perspective. News out of the mouth of any government is always propaganda -- it is information organized to present what the government regards as appropriate, correct, and true.

If the journalist succumbs to the propaganda then he or she isn't a journalist but merely a speaker or writer for the government's cause. If a person is incapable of figuring out how to elicit opposing viewpoints or of writing in a manner that presents such views objectively, than nothing he or she writes is worth reading. Go back to the government and ask them what's happening. Or go to the opposition and ask them the same question. It's because media has let us down that we are forced to 'gather' our own news.

I despair what I see around me but I also believe it is my responsibility, all of our responsibilities, to stand up and say do it right. You are being paid to provide a service and you are failing miserably. Changing the technology doesn't subtract from the core of the task. In the end it's about giving the public a fair sense of what is happening.
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:56 pm

So should we bring back the Fairness Doctrine? :perplexed: I've been thinking for a while that maybe we should, but I don't think it should apply to the internet. Or maybe it should be voluntary, like you could earn an FCC "Fairness" seal or something. Kinda like the "USDA Choice" meat sticker for the news. :lol: Then again, I hate the thought of more government bloat...

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby fireflydances » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:37 pm

Ramblin, Let me come back to your question and give it the attention it deserves. Just read it this morning and I have to head out and do some errands.
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby fireflydances » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:05 pm

RamblinRebel wrote:So should we bring back the Fairness Doctrine? :perplexed: I've been thinking for a while that maybe we should, but I don't think it should apply to the internet. Or maybe it should be voluntary, like you could earn an FCC "Fairness" seal or something. Kinda like the "USDA Choice" meat sticker for the news. :lol: Then again, I hate the thought of more government bloat...


Thank you for bringing up this issue Ramblin' -- the Wiki article got me looking around for sources on the topic.

For those of us who have forgotten what the Fairness Doctrine was, it covered both radio and TV. I found a very concise explanation of its original purpose here:

"The necessity for the Fairness Doctrine, according to proponents, arises from the fact that there are many fewer broadcast licenses than people who would like to have them. Unlike publishing, where the tools of the trade are in more or less endless supply, broadcasting licenses are limited by the finite number of available frequencies. Thus, as trustees of a scarce public resource, licensees accept certain public interest obligations in exchange for the exclusive use of limited public airwaves. One such obligation was the Fairness Doctrine, which was meant to ensure that a variety of views, beyond those of the licensees and those they favored, were heard on the airwaves."

Since 2000 there's been much support for reinstatement of the doctrine on the Democratic side of the fence, because of the plethora of conservative radio stations. But not as much since 2009, maybe because cable TV wouldn't be covered (no frequency limits there).

Another article, this one by Time Magazine pointed out that, "Both sides are likely overstating the doctrine's import. Even if it were to return, liberals would have a hard time co-opting the Fairness Doctrine to limit conservative talk radio to the degree they might like. The FCC has never applied the Fairness Doctrine to a talk radio host, nor does the regulation force stations to give equal time for every perspective."

The Best Obtainable Version of the Truth:

But I don't know that this is what we need because what's occurring isn't station against station but rather a system wide downgrading of the need to find the truth about an event or issue. We need reporters and news organizations that value the importance of locating truth, even if, as Buster pointed out, truth is flavored with perspective.

I happened to listen to Reliable Sources on CNN this morning. They had Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame talking about the Gov. Christie scandal. Most of the interview was same-old, same-old for me, but final comments of Bernstein, when he starts talking about "the best obtainable version of the truth" are definitely worth hearing.

(The interview is about 9 minutes long. Carl begins talking about the "best obtainable version of the truth about 8:03)


Thank you again Ramblin. :angel:
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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby nebraska » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:11 pm

In today's world we have so many complicated red tape entanglements, I am reluctant to encourage more. No matter what one says or doesn't say, someone is offended (think about Liz's comment that a sheik costume could be considered politically incorrect). So, would this mean if a station had coverage of Black History Month they would have to also have a White History Month? I think we need common sense more than anything else. As somebody has said (am I infringing on someone's copyright here? that's another complicated minefield) common sense isn't so common any more. To be honest, there are other things that bother me more, like campaign contributions and lobbying money.

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby Buster » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:42 am

best obtainable truth


The main agenda for the doctrine was to ensure that viewers were exposed to a diversity of viewpoints.


It almost seems like an apologia for paparazzi :-/ .

Just flinging a little fuel on the fire :biggrin:

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:39 am

Wow firefly! Thank you for your research and reflections! :bouquet: I’m sorry it took me so long to get back here to comment. There’s a great quote at the end of that first link:
What has not changed since 1987 is that over-the-air broadcasting remains the most powerful force affecting public opinion, especially on local issues; as public trustees, broadcasters ought to be insuring that they inform the public, not inflame them.
Amen.

And you’re right, the last minute of the Carl Bernstein video is just fantastic! He really nails it.
More and more people are not open in this country to the best obtainable version of the truth.
…media outlets feeding these ideologies, feeding these prejudices, without interest in truth…
…And we don’t know the extent to which the citizens are responsible, the media is responsible and the political system is responsible, but they’re all irresponsible in this unwillingness to make…the best obtainable version of the truth the object of what they are doing.
Yes, exactly. I agree with nebraska that we don’t need more red tape, and yes, firefly, it is a system wide downgrading of the need to find the truth. Maybe the Fairness Doctrine isn’t the best answer, but the path we’re headed down deeply concerns me.

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:41 am

Buster wrote:
The main agenda for the doctrine was to ensure that viewers were exposed to a diversity of viewpoints.
It almost seems like an apologia for paparazzi :-/ .:
Ouch!

Buster wrote:Just flinging a little fuel on the fire :biggrin:
:grin: :grin:

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Re: Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #11 Between media and government

Unread postby Liz » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:13 am

Interesting clip viewpoint from Carl Bernstein, Firefly.....that it might be a two-way street. That it might be more than just an irresponsible media. Food for thought.

But I think the fairness doctrine (if applied fairly) could be the answer. What really bugs me about Fox (and I say Fox because my husband has it on all the time and I know it better than any other, besides the half hour I get for ABC at 5:30 pm) is that we never hear the other side. In my mind, if you are going to take the news further than just objective reporting, then you need to give the other side. And that never happens. It used to. Fox wasn't always like this. :mad:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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