Why do so many liberals join the media?

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  • #10737

    Kathy26689
    Participant

    It appears to be widely accepted that most of the major news media – NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, etc. – have news anchors and reporters whose cultural and political leanings are primarily liberal. This explains the slant put on news today, but what I don’t understand is, why do so many liberals enter this field? I recognize that there are the Rush Limbaughs and Dr. Lauras who have talk radio shows, but these are syndicated and not part of the mainstream news that people see every night while eating supper. Do liberals enter this field specifically in an effort to influence the thoughts and attitudes of viewers?

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    Name : Kathy26689, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 47, City : Springfield, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : Medical, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #28310

    ACC24005
    Participant

    The false notion that the media has a ‘liberal’ bias has been debunked many times, most notably by Noam Chomsky in his many books. He found an overwhelming bias in FAVOR of institutions like corporations and government. For that matter, even many of the conservatives who tossed that notion around, like Quayle, Nixon and Joe McCarthy, later openly admitted they knew that to be completely false. Not surprising when you think about it. The anchorpeople are basically multi-millioniares who work for multi-billionaires, so why wouldn’t they be biased in favor of the institutions they depend on to make them wealthy and famous? Journalism is also one of the most racially exclusionary of fields, as late as 1995 more than 95% white. ABC has long been nicknamed by liberal activists as standing for ‘Always Be Conservative’. It has famous conservatives George Will, Dianne Sawyer (who was in the Nixon administration), Ted Koppel, Peter Jennings, John Stossel, and even Judd Rose, who is a longtime member of the Nazi Party. It’s funny what conservatives claim is ‘liberal bias’. Bryant Gumbel gets pointed to as a ‘liberal’ by conservatives, but is widely disparaged in the black community as an outright Uncle Tom. So you tell me, where is this alleged ‘liberal bias’ except in the mind of conseratives who want to undercut criticism of themselves?

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    Name : ACC24005, Gender : M, City : W. Lafayette, State : IN Country : United States, Occupation : Grad student, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #16680

    Beth
    Member

    As a member of the media, albeit in a very small market, I don’t think most media personnel are necessarily liberal. I feel they pretty much reflect society’s mix. However, in order to do the job, a media person must be able to report on all ideas and all cultures, no matter his or her personal beliefs. They should be a mirror for what is happening. That can lead to the perception that they are ‘liberal’ as opposed to ‘conservative.’ If you knew these people, because many of them are, to use the old term, WASPs, you may find them quite conservative. They are just good at their jobs. Note: In this, I refer to reporters/anchors, not columnists/editorial writers, whose job it is to present their opinions.

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    Name : Beth, Gender : F, Age : 45, City : Wamego, State : KS Country : United States, 
    #32801

    Hi, influence the people, very funny. Do you seriously think there is world wide conspiration of liberals? Media-people are usually reporters at some point of their career. And being reporters they are permanently occupied with other people’s side of the story, with other people’s lifes, other people’s truths. Liberism is an occupational desease of people who are faced with reality too much. My guess is, the internet will spread the virus to broader circles of the public. Cheers Thorsten

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    Name : Thorsten Roggendorf, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 28, City : Bielefeld, State : NA Country : Germany, Occupation : PhD student, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #22258

    Michelle20550
    Participant

    I think the nature of the work leads many journalists to become more liberal over time. We are taught to try to cover news objectively, from numerous points of view, and that tends to break down the walls between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ People can be amazingly open and vulnerable in an interview, and that humanizes even those who have very different views from your own. So while I may not agree with someone’s beliefs or viewpoints, I do often come to understand why and how they came to them. I don’t have an ‘agenda,’ I just have more compassion now than when I entered the field, and I think that may make people think I’ve become more ‘liberal.’

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    Name : Michelle20550, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Baptist, City : Oklahoma City, State : OK Country : United States, Occupation : Journalist, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, 
    #24942

    Chuck A.
    Member

    As someone whose background is in broadcast journalism, I’ve heard this question asked before and often wondered it myself. I think liberal and progressive people (who by nature tend to question authority and challenge convention) are drawn to news coverage because news, by its nature, is new, unconventional and challenging. I also think conservative people who enter journalism eventually find themselves becoming more progressive in their thinking after having to confront ideas and personalities that may be at odds with their own. For instance, I believe the main reason the media tend to be supportive of the lesbian and gay community is that reporters find themselves often interviewing the same gay people that middle Americans might prefer not to have anything to do with. The fears and misconceptions tend to fade away – much to the consternation of the Religious Right.

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    Name : Chuck A., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Gay, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 41, City : Spring Hill, State : WV Country : United States, Occupation : AIDS Educator/Part-time radio announcer, 
    #25326

    J. I.
    Member

    The perception that most anchors and reporters in electronic media are liberal enjoys its widest acceptance among those on the political right. Even if there is some truth to it, bear in mind that the people who write these journalists’ paychecks tend to be conservative, as do most business owners – no one is likely to accuse Fox News or Rupert Murdoch of being liberal – and those who have the gold ultimately make the rules. The suggestion that liberals expressly undertake media careers to serve ideological agendas is reminiscent of conspiracy theories popular on right-wing talk radio. As someone who has worked in media for more than 40 years, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that most anchors and reporters are motivated by ego, not ideology.

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    Name : J. I., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 56, City : Atlanta, State : GA Country : United States, Occupation : Voiceover, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #35896

    Charles32275
    Participant

    One thing the answerers haven’t pointed out so far is that, controlled by big business or not, the news media are still businesses themselves. Content is dictated first and foremost by what sells ad space. In the case of ‘news commentators’ – and you should be able to tell from the very title that this implies bias – it’s a question of ‘is the public willing to buy this?’ Not in a believability sense, but in a cash-on-the-barrelhead sense. I think we’ve seen a dramatic surge in commentators on the air, in the papers, and in books in the past three years because the 2000 elections served as a clarion call to opportunistic hacks throughout the news media: At the moment, there is easy money to made working both sides of the street. Thus I find it infinitely amusing to go into a book store and find the ‘dueling pundits’ table – a big shiny display of all the best by Michael Moore, Anne Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, etc, etc, all of them screaming about the media’s liberal/conservative bias. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

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    Name : Charles32275, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 24, City : Albuquerque, State : NM Country : United States, Occupation : Architect, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #27082

    Robert
    Member

    USA Today did an article about this a few weeks ago. Basically they concluded that liberals are people that want to ‘make a difference’ and ‘contribute to society’, and as such choose careers based on those criteria, while conservatives view making money as their primary motivation in career choice. As most social workers, teachers and writers can tell you, don’t go into their field if you want to get rich… go into their field if you feel called to do so.

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    Name : Robert, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 48, City : Grand Rapids, State : MI Country : United States, Occupation : Business Owner, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
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