Why Oh Why Can’t We Have a Non-Schitzophenic Media?

This entry is part 8 of 14 in the series Beef Protests '08

Oh yes, I’m thinking of Brad DeLong’s posts about the American newsmedia.

Schitzo news

Screenshot from someone browsing Daum today.

One side reports that a protester was half-blinded by a water cannon used by police, and on the other side, the headline underlined in red suggests (roughly) that “claims of injuries from water cannons are lies.”

(I know, I know, it’s the internet, but this really is what it’s like in the print media too. No wonder nobody I know here who actually thinks on a daily basis trusts the news, especially the mainstream news, and no wonder demonstrators have been ejecting reporters from the major [conservative] newspapers from the demonstration zone as a matter of course.)

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2 thoughts on “Why Oh Why Can’t We Have a Non-Schitzophenic Media?

  1. One of my students’ brothers gets the Choson Ilbo and the Hangyorae every day, and reads them side by side, figuring that by ignoring the areas where their reporting differs, he digs through the agendas and rhetoric to the actual facts of a story. Kind of like comparative studies of the synoptic gospels (Matthew Mark Luke) in the bible, trying to get down to the most accurate version of the story.

    A bit sad, though, that reading the newspaper in Korea would be aided by textual analysis training (and not to say other countries media are equally polarized). . . my best friend’s wife heard me talk about that, so she went out and bought a Choson and Hangyorae paper, lay them out side by side, and was shocked at how much the reporting differed from one to the other.

    I’ve been telling my students to read international news sources along with domestic ones, and these days I get my news on the US from BBC, and news on the UK, from CNN, etc..

    I like the way you’ve approached this issue. Thanks for the fresh voice.

    -roboseyo

  2. Roboseyo,

    There is a sorta-decent weekly magazine in Korea, Sisa-In, which was founded by reporters who quit their jobs over (self-)censorship issues at other newspapers. Lime reads it regularly and says it’s the best political writing in Korea. (And mutually hated by the left and the right, unlike the Cho/Jung/Dong and Hangyorae.)

    I also recommend international news sources but for Korean news, that is pretty much nonexistent — nothing of much consequence ever gets translated anyway! That’s why I was very glad when Sisa-In came onto the scene. (You can actually see my name on the list of original contributors somewhere.) It’s the only place that whistleblowers of outfits like Samsung even get listened to.

    Here’s hoping more reporters grow consciences and brains and follow suit!

    Thanks for reading my take and all. :)

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