The 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, among other rights, grants freedom of the press. It specifically states: "... Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of the press ..." As with the rest of the Constitution, a brilliant political principle without question. With its brilliance though, it does not regulate the quality of the free press and throughout our history we have seen both outstanding journalism and pitiful examples of a free press. In the second decade of the 21st century, there are two strong political ideologies (left & right) controlling the political dialogue in this country. During the 2012 Presidential Election, spin from the left and right are presented as mainstream information and what was formerly mainstream, balanced & unbiased information sources have changed or evolved their format to the point that unbiased reporting is unavailable. In the 2016 Presidential Election, there was no effort at all to cover up the biased reporting of the mainstream media. Today's news sources are targeting specific messages to gain specific ideological audiences, thereby presenting bias. This bias is most times unidentifiable, not completely truthfully nor presented with perspective and context that the reader/viewer/listener requires and expects. Shockingly, sometimes this bias is purposely (NBC) camouflaged (NY Times - 4th paragraph down) from the reader/viewer/listener. In our polarized society, these strong messages on both sides overpower the ability of people with limited time to evaluate issues to find a center, compromise, reasonable or mainstream position. Especially when each side is also saying they offer the center, compromise, reasonable and mainstream position, whether they do or not. There are media watchdog organizations out there, but they also represent an ideological left and right. Much of this website is dedicated to shedding light on the bias in current American journalism. While we long for that great post-WWII journalistic era, where we were served by responsible, professional and largely unbiased journalism, unfortunately, we are no longer so served. That makes it difficult for American citizens to find the truth among the hype, agenda peddling and biased reporting. If you look at the bottom of this page and all pages on this website, you will find major (and some not so major) news organizations listed based on their political leanings, Left or Right. You will immediately notice there are none listed in the center. While there may be the occasional article in any of these news sources which could be a center, balanced and truthful report, by and large the reporting from that news source is defined by its L-R political leanings. The Gray Area is attempting to help its readers by so identifying the biases of the news source from which a report originates to help you identify the spin within the news piece you are reading or watching. We will include an article in the center if we believe it represents the center, a thoughtful, balanced and honest perspective. That way, presented with facts and recognizing the source, you can make up your own mind. In this 'media' section, we comment on the egregiousness of some reporting so that you may see the best and worst of what we must today use as our sources of information. From an analysis of all the sources, THE GRAY AREA HAS CREATED ITS OWN SPECTRUM OF MEDIA BIAS.

Truth about media narratives and political polls

from The Gray Area:
Surprisingly, there is a lot of truth in the post below from the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR). Normally a far left leaning media spokes-newsletter, in this post it says out loud the major issues with political polling:
  • polls are hard to separate from the expectations the media has of them and the ways in which we talk about them—and about politics as a whole.
  • polls do not merely reflect some abstract notion of public sentiment but rather exist within a media feedback loop
  • our coverage shapes people’s perceptions of the world, which they then feed back to us through polls, which we then (often) cover as if we played no role in shaping them
  • If Biden is underwater, such critics argue, that’s because his coverage is currently—and many might argue unduly—awash in negativity
  • media does have the power to shape public perception
  • If we have the power to shape perception, though, this is true regardless of the proportionality and substantiveness of our coverage. So the question of how we present polls still applies
  • ABC at the top of its Sunday-morning show This Week—which, as various critics pointed out, sent its own message, intentional or not, as to how they viewed the worth and reliability of its findings
  • how one could “even publish [such] a poll
In addition to this insight, CJR also gets to important considerations regarding polls and political reactions to them:
  • A blanket refusal to publish outlier polls strikes me as untenable
  • there are polls and the narratives journalists weave from those polls—and polling postmortems and the narratives journalists weave from those postmortems—and these things often do not align.
  • the two outlets can’t claim the poll is an outlier given that a survey they published earlier this year also showed a significant lead for Trump over Biden
Read this post and remember that political polls Do NOT represent public opinion. They are presented both because they produce a message that supports a media political narrative, or, a message can be produced from them to support a media political narrative which then creates a public reaction and/or opinion that supports the narrative.
from CJR:
Yesterday, a pair of polls drove a great deal of discourse in political media. One, from NBC News, wasn’t especially remarkable in isolation—it showed deep voter misgivings about both President Biden and his likely 2024 presidential challenger, Donald Trump, and found that the pair would be locked in a dead heat among registered voters if the election were held today, 46 to 46 percent. The other poll, from the Washington Post and ABC News, also found voter misgivings about Biden. But its head-to-head numbers were astonishing, showing Trump leading Biden by ten points—52 to 42 percent—among registered voters. (ABC led its coverage of the poll with a slightly lower margin—51 to 42 percent—reflecting the responses of all adults.) ABC’s main story about the poll splashed the head-to-head numbers in its headline. The Post’s topline framing was more circumspect: the paper’s headline focused on criticism of Biden’s performance, and while the subhead mentioned the head-to-head finding, it noted that it “does not match other recent polling… suggesting it is an outlier.” This WaPo/ABCNews poll did neither, which is why the political and media class roundly criticized it and wished it had not been published, and the right applauded the situation. More From CJR:

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