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Take your own advice

Pergament conducted a survey of 150 women who are at high risk for breast cancer, because family members have contracted the disease; their actual breast cancer risk was 6 percent, but their perceived risk was 36 percent, or six times greater. (Murray, Schwartz, and Lichter 120).

I find it pretty ironic that, in the middle of a book that argues that journalists should cite survey questions (not just survey answers) in their articles, the authors choose to cite a survey performed by a medical doctor but don't bother to mention what kinds of questions he asked to compile his statistics.

Oh, and the implication that all journalists have in fact "crossed the boundary from news reporting to advocacy" on the environmental beat simply because a Time magazine editor said so doesn't really seem fair.

It Ain't Necessarily So seemed to be getting a little more objective in Chapter 6, but in Chapter 7 the authors seemed to take the plunge right back into insensitive subjectivity, again.

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Comments

Jay is right about if it were subjective it would be horrible to read. Think about how many different opinions and examples it would have to give. We as readers would be completely lost and confused. I'm kind of indifferent to the biases of this book. That's probably because I don't want to be a journalist, so I am not getting offended by the things that the authors are saying, but I can definately see everyone's points!

Right, Jay -- the book isn't an example of journalism, but it gives us a chance to look at how journalism can affect our view of the world.

We the Media is also biased, Jay, in a different way. But that's getting ahead of things...

Chris,

You're right. IANS jumps from one point to the other without validating their evidence in the way they recommend. We must keep in mind that the authors of these books aren't journalists, but rather work with statistical analysis. It does amaze me though, that Lichter is president of the Center for Media and Public Affairs. I would like to read some of their own articles, in order to see how they portray the news. How by-their-own-book are they?

I don't mind opinionated statements, as long as they don't seem to completely consume the whole argument. The authors should at least put a little bit more effort into addressing opposing points of view.

I'll definitely take a look at your entry. Thanks, Jay.

This is an opinionated book Chris, this we can say is completely evident. This is why "We the Media" is a complete contrast. At the same time, this book does have some good points to offer, especially in Chapter 7. If this book was completely objective, A) It would be a nightmare to read, and B) It wouldn't create these opinions that you and I have. This book is meant to create a great discussion, and the opinionated statements make it interesting. I knowt that's not what WE'RE supposed to do in journalism, but it's a nice contrast.

If you would like another contrasting opinion, I wrote about Chapter 7, and what good IANS does for the reader.

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