Nearly half of all Americans describe the news media as “very biased,” according to survey conducted in 2020 by Knight Foundation and Gallup. “That’s a bad thing for democracy,” says John Sands, director of learning and impact at the Knight Foundation. “When half of Americans have some sort of doubt about the veracity of the news they consume, it’s going to be impossible for our democracy to function.”
The study also found 73% of Americans feel that too much bias in news reports is a major problem, up from 65% two years ago.
Reuters Is on the Reader’s Side
Reuters’ new campaign from VMLY&R London brings the brand into the spotlight to demonstrate what has long been its defining philosophy: To tell all sides of a story but take none.
The spot says that Reuters’ news contains no bias and has no agenda. It is common but absurd to make such claims. Is their news produced by human beings? Is Reuters an advertising and subscription-based business?
“With 2500 journalists in 200 locations around the world, our strength spans markets and geographies, delivering the deep global and local expertise that is uniquely Reuters,” says Alessandra Galloni, Reuters Editor-in-Chief.
Wow….2500 journalists in 200 locations and none with bias or any sort of agenda in their reporting. If it were true, it would be a major news story.
Who Owns the Real Story?
Reuters tells the real story, which is one way for the esteemed news gathering organization to position itself against the pandemic of fake news. But the real story has to include the fact that people are not all that attracted to facts and rationality. What we are totally hooked on is a steady stream of sensational images that elicit strong emotional responses. Look, here’s one from the source.
The idea that any of us, even professional journalists, can or will tell all sides of a story is simply a reach and in the context of an ad campaign for a news organization, not particularly believable.
Sure, “Take no side, tell all sides,” is lovely on paper, but it doesn’t work in real life. Examine the image above. Are we hearing the migrant’s story in full and painful detail? Is anyone, Reuters included, truly inside this global tragedy unfolding at the US/Mexico border?
Facts Inform But Don’t Complete A Story
Here’s a new article from Reuters with some stunning and important facts.
Official data from Mexico show Haitians are already far less likely to have asylum claims approved in Mexico compared with many nationalities, even if their chances are starting to improve.
Last year, of all asylum claims that were formally resolved, only 22% of Haitian cases won approval, compared with 98% for Venezuelans, 85% of Hondurans, 83% of Salvadorans and 44% of Cubans. So far this year, the Haitian number is up to 31%.
No migrants were quoted in the story and no individual human stories were told. The facts above do describe the fate that awaits Haitian and Cuban refugees, but without hearing from them directly it’s hard to understand all sides.
Facts also lead to more questions. Why are Cuban and Haitian refugees turned away at such a high rate while others are not? Is it because they’re black? We’re left to wonder.