New Technology Addresses Challenge of Media Bias, Even Among Fact Checkers
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — AllSides Inc. and its patent-pending bias rating technology today revealed contrasting slants and exposed media bias, even among fact checkers, in the coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
Surprisingly, the bias was evident not just in news coverage, but also among fact checkers.
“We greatly admire fact checkers and their work to improve our public discourse,” said John Gable, founder and CEO of AllSides. “But it is not as black and white as you might think. Their bias unintentionally comes through in ways that can substantially impact their conclusions.”
Fact Checkers See Clinton’s Claims Differently
During the Democratic National Convention (DNC), Bill Clinton asserted that over the last 52 years, America had experienced more job growth under past Democratic presidents (42 million) than under Republican presidents (24 million).
In covering this assertion, both PolitiFact and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker determined that Bill Clinton’s job numbers were essentially correct. PolitiFact (AllSides Bias Rating “Left”) gave it a “True” rating and went on to make the case that the numbers were even stronger than they appear.
On the other hand, The Washington Post (AllSides Bias Rating “Lean Left”) gave it a “One Pinocchio” rating, calling it a “nonsense fact” that was “used to reach a conclusion that doesn’t tell you much about how either political party has managed the economy in the past — or would in the future.” They noted how most of the Democratic job growth numbers came from the Clinton presidency that benefited from the previous administrations deficit reduction package, and how the policies of past presidents do not match their party’s policies today.
In the words of former U.S. Senator Patrick Moynihan, “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” AllSides shows that there is still a great deal of judgment in which facts to pick and how to apply them.
Findings Show Wide-Variation in Reaction and Coverage of Candidates Speeches
Not surprisingly, the reaction and coverage of the candidate’s speeches varied. But, AllSides revealed that there was one consistent pattern throughout the coverage. Publications directly quoted the speech of a candidate they supported more often than they quoted a candidate they did not support. The Huffington Post’s (AllSides Bias Rating “Left”) coverage of Obama’s speech was dominated by direct quotes from the President while one major article about the same speech by Fox News (AllSides Bias Rating “Right) didn’t use a single quote. The same could be seen in the opposite direction covering the Romney and Ryan speeches.
What Should a Voter Do?
AllSides advises voters to look at the news, opinions and even the “facts” from all different perspectives. But how can an average voter do that during their business lives?
By presenting these contrasting perspectives side-by-side, AllSides.com gives voters the ability to quickly get a more balanced picture and decide for themselves. It relies on a crowd-sourced technology that rates the bias of different sources in order to reveal all perspectives.
“Our basic message to voters is don’t rely on one source for information — don’t outsource your thinking to someone else,” added Gable. “Look at the news and issues from multiple perspectives, which AllSides.com makes quick and easy, and then decide for yourself.”
About AllSides, Inc.
AllSides couples wisdom-of-the-crowd technology and the best statistical research and methodologies available, enabling an online movement that exposes bias and presents differing points of view. AllSides was founded by a bi-partisan team of seasoned industry leaders with a track-record of paving the way for innovation, having served companies such as Microsoft, Apple, AOL and Netscape, media outlets including CBS MarketWatch and several political campaigns at the presidential, senate, state and local level. Based in San Francisco, California, AllSides is committed to empowering consumers to digest a variety of perspectives and gain a balanced view of news, opinions and important issues. As a result, they can then make informed decisions that affect their individual lives and, ultimately, society at-large. AllSides’ technology is available to consumers directly through the AllSides.com website and through licensing agreements with media partners. For more information, visit www.AllSides.com.
SOURCE AllSides, Inc.