Most people regard journalists as biased, though it is most evident in the bias of journalists at places politically different from the consumer - in the US, MSNBC viewers regard Fox News consumers as biased while Fox News consumers regard everyone else as biased.
Science media does not have this issue because everyone votes the same way politically and it makes no difference; except on political issues that attract political demographics, like GMOs or climate change, science media can stick to science. What about sports? Can a sports journalist be biased?
They can. It just may not be evident when it comes to their sports coverage.
The Penn State sex abuse scandal provided evidence of rampant bias in sports journalism, say Clemson University and University of Louisville researchers scholars. There is no excusing the crimes of convicted sex criminal Jerry Sandusky, though efforts to blame Joe Paterno for apparently inventing child abuse by not doing enough to stop it seemed a bit much. That behavior by sports journalists, and more, led the sports journalism scholars to declare that sports journalists were no longer objective in their coverage.
Who knew they ever were?
Sports journalists did not go into sports journalism because they wanted to be objective journalists, they went into it because they loved sports and were inspired by Roger Kahn or whoever and wanted to tell stories about sports. But who didn't share some outrage that Sandusky used his authority and prestige to abuse kids and wasn't shocked that a Penn State athletic program, presumably with a sense of morality if not a desire to protect their business, wouldn't do something to stop it? The story was bigger than sports - and so was the coverage.
All fair, but sports journalists were over the top in their coverage, say professors Marion Hambrick and Jimmy Sanderson.
"Twitter seems to elevate sports journalists' willingness to step outside of their professional spheres," Sanderson, assistant professor in Clemson's communication studies department, wrote in a statement. "Many of the journalists uttered commentary that would be unlikely to appear in more traditional platforms, and in this respect, sports journalists seem to be mimicking athletes in creating social media controversies."
And a lot of what got repeated was inaccurate, they say - but that is the price for instant coverage of media events so not much of an issue. Being inaccurate as not as much of a concern as being irrelevant in the modern world where newspapers and three television networks no longer control media.
Personal interactions are the wave of the future. "Meet The Press" still gets viewers, but they are mostly over the age of 50. Sure, that means journalists may look less objective on occasion but very few believed they were anyway.
Citation: Jimmy Sanderson, Marion E. Hambrick, 'Covering the Scandal in 140 Characters: A Case Study of Twitter’s Role in Coverage of the Penn State Saga', IJSC Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2012 pp 384 – 402
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Are Think Tanks More Credible To Government Employees? Not Really
- The Daily Physics Problem - 1
- Hugh Hefner's Wife Was Not Poisoned By Breast Implants
- Why Has Climate Change Taken So Long?
- Why We Can't Have A Mystery Planet Hidden Behind The Sun Or Above The South Pole
- Odds of Intelligent life on the TRAPPIST-1 planets : NOT Great.
- Curcumin And Silymarin Plant Compounds Give '1-2' Punch To Colon Cancer
- "there are over 60 commercially operating nuclear power plants in 30 states.not too shabby.also..."
- "For new installations, we have made the cost impossible to ever recoup for the private sector...."
- "High -x means that we are in the tail of the PDF function. Which means low statistics since it..."
- "I cannot see the gluon PDF uncertainty which is the largest in high-x if I remember correctly?..."
- "nuclear power industry is also subsidized by the federal gov't...."
- Parasite proteins prompt immune system to fight off ovarian tumors in mice
- Behavioral activation as effective as CBT for depression, at lower cost
- The Lancet: Simpler, cheaper psychological treatment as effective as cognitive behavioural therapy for treating depression
- Ultrasensitive sensor using N-doped graphene
- Brain activity and response to food cues differ in severely obese women, UTSW study shows