Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Media Manipulation

I want to urge some caution when dealing with the media this federal election. Be aware of media manipulation.  Here's what to watch for.

1. Using Anecdotal evidence  
This is the method where reporters use a single example as "evidence".
2.Providing only one side of stories Most journalists seem to forget there are two sides to EVERY controversial issue, otherwise it wouldn't be controversial!
3.Choosing only certain stories to run or emphasize A media source shows it's bias not only by how it presents it's stories, but also in what stories it chooses to run.
4.Cherry-picking research & statistics
5.Using biased polls or selectively reporting results If you're a regular watcher of cable news shows, can you remember a day when some new poll wasn't presented? Polls open a whole new set of possible biases and manipulations. Polls can use leading questions, a small or unrepresentive sample size, sloppy recording methods, and dishonest poll-takers.
6.Using out-of-context quotes and clips
7.Choosing other poor sources as "evidence"
    a) "Anonymous" or unnamed "expert" sources 
    b) Remote sources or those with questionable credibility
    c) Citing secondary sources that use one or more of the other manipulations techniques
8. Controlling the timing of stories to do maximum political damage  
9.Using "critics say" to express their own beliefs Beware whenever you read or hear the words "critics say". A reporter will often use these words to stir up controversy or to express their own beliefs.  

So when watching the main news channels or reading the papers keep these points in mind.. When you have journalists and news outlets out there who want to set the agenda, you have to examine their reporting closely.  Check other sources.  Listen directly to the words of the candidates and make up your own mind based on those words. Take the media's interpretations with a grain of salt. It's all about how be an informed voter.

Ottawa Notebook


  1. Sun news please.

  2. Sometimes the controversy is manufactured and equal weight is given to a side that has no basis in reality.
    Your first recourse should be to determine if there is really a controversy.
    Young earth creationism v geology is a good example.
    Vested interests often try and use the hackneyed phrase, "the science isn't settled." That is a sure sign they have no case.

  3. Sounds like a CBC manual.

    It does doesn't it?

  4. The media also uses the term Canadians are outraged. They are? Show me those that are outraged. How does the media know what Canadians are thinking? The long form census is a good example. Yes the elites and those who use the census information for extorting money from the government. Ordinary Canadians? Not so much.

  5. Akin seems to have read it . If this isn't manipultive , what is . ---

  6. Akin seems to have read it . If this isn't manipultive , what is . ---

    Oh,yeah,that's a manipulative column alright.

  7. Thanks for the reminder farmgirl.
    I going to concentrate on counting Iggy's lip licks.


This is my home. I hope you respect it. I will not tolerate profanity or anything that is not suitable for family consumption.