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Online objective newspaper

A title like that doesn't need a summary.
  (+3, -6)
(+3, -6)
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Investigators uncover facts and news and put them in a database. Journalists are invited to write the story.

If it is a political story a journalist slightly to the right of Atilla the Hun and a journalist slightly to the left of mother Theresa both write the story and they are presented side by side.

This gives insight in how journalists spin facts and try to influence our opinion. It gives us more to base our opinion on.

Been reading the Hufpost and thought it lacked objectivity.

zeno, Jul 10 2008

The Week http://www.theweek...._website/index.html
This comes pretty close (includes extracts from range of different newspapers on same topics), but not really online. [pertinax, Jul 12 2008]

History The Betrayer: a study of bias http://www.antiqboo...nort/73600607.shtml
The definitive work in this area - a sort of 'How To Lie With Statistics' for non-quantitative data, but maybe less optimistic. [pertinax, Jul 13 2008]


       I'd like to see a kind of W3C approach to this - you could have underlying data layer, upon which, you could overlay opinion-focussed stylesheets, that would generate content of the appropriate slant.
<opinion name="Guardianesque" view="TreeHuggingHippy" conjectures="Wild" tone="Sanctimonious">


       <opinion name="DailyMailish" view="HangTheDirtyBastards" conjectures="Apocalyptic" tone="Infuriated">
zen_tom, Jul 10 2008


       <opinion name="TheSunlike" view="MildJingoisticBigotry" conjectures="Semi-naked" tone="RandomCAPITALISATION">
theleopard, Jul 10 2008

       // Been reading the Hufpost and thought it lacked objectivity.
Duh. Ya think?

       Oh, and "slightly to the left of Mother Theresa" - I think there might be quite a bit of room there.   

       I don't like the fetishisation of "balance" and "both sides" to the detriment of facts. I don't want two opposing fixed opinions, I want no fixed opinions, but background, curiosity, and intelligence.
jutta, Jul 10 2008

       Wait a minute - you have a database of facts and news? Why not publish that as the objective story?
phundug, Jul 10 2008

       The presentation of mere facts is no guaranty for objectiveness. Facts might be omitted. Some facts are shown on a more prominent place etc.. I like background and curiosity but I find that intelligence is overrated. I just don't like it being used to shape my opinion, consiously or not. I think this is the only way objectiveness can be achieved in the news: by giving both sides of every story.
zeno, Jul 13 2008

       Two wrongs do not make a right.   

       ... err, is that in the bible somewhere? [-]
daseva, Jul 13 2008

       True but, given two wrongs, you can at least do some triangulation.
pertinax, Jul 13 2008

       A bun for zen_tom's version of this idea, facts presented via stylesheets. We'll do it live!
Laughs Last, Jul 13 2008

       Funny i think your title doesn't describe your idea, and so your summary makes no sense. Instead of it being an objective newspaper, it is a doubly subjective newspaper -- and worse, it is polarized to the mythical, pre-school mentality of having a 'left' and a 'right' -- a fictional linear political spectrum.
mylodon, Jul 16 2008

       The problem with presenting both (or all) sides to an argument is that not all sides have equal vailidity. It is possible to have a viewpoint that has the support of say 5 fanatics with no facts to back it up, and it's opposite that is supported by the rest of the worlds population, with the preponderance of evidence on its side. Giving both of these viewpoints equal weight is not objective reporting, it presents the smaller group as much more valid than it actually is.
MechE, Jul 16 2008

       The problem with inviting journalists to write a story based on 'facts' uncovered by someone else is that they weren't there. Journalism (proper journalism of whatever shade of opinion) is about going somewhere and finding something out for yourself.

As a reader, it is up to you to think about what a journalist writes and interpret it in the light of your own experience, bias and knowledge of the world. An article written by third persons which tells you what you should think about the story (which is essentially what this idea amounts to) is just an editorial and they have been invented, and ignored, for decades.

//Giving both of these viewpoints equal weight is not objective reporting//

That depends. Are we talking about an objective presentation of the story or an objective interpretation of it? I interpret zeno's idea as being an attempt at achieving the former. The latter is, generally speaking, rather more difficult. To my mind a report without a dissenting viewpoint probably isn't worth reading.
DrBob, Jul 18 2008

       My point is that objective reporting is impossible and this idea is the next best thing.
zeno, Jul 26 2008


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