Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Objectivity and transparency in media

The Economist argues that transparency is an adequate substitute for objectivity. The gist is that it's okay to be biased if you're upfront about your biases and provide supporting evidence.

That is idiotic. The fundamental problem is that the knowledge in your head does not have an audit trail. If you read something untrue or distorted, even if you know it when you read it, there's a good chance you're going to remember it as true.

The way they describe it sounds more acceptable, but they open the door for biased, distorted reporting. Human memory is flawed. It's unreasonable to expect perfect memory and discrimination from people in order to excuse away your own lack of objectivity.

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