Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Facts, Schmacts

I Know What I Think

“Politicians of all parties have been lying since the beginning of the republic. The two previous presidential administrations are perhaps best known for lies or untruths—see [Monica] Lewinsky and weapons of mass destruction. And even in this, another presidential election year, rare is the day when a candidate does not utter or repeat a claim that will be debunked by PolitiFact or another independent truth squad. . . .

“Those who study politics and communications say the consequences appear to be minimal, at least for the liars. . . .”

“‘Most people don’t base their opinions on the accumulation of factual material,’ said Karlyn Bowman, who specializes in polling and public opinion as a senior fellow at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

“Instead, said Bowman and others, people will weigh their own values and discussions with others when formulating opinions. And oftentimes, they seek out opinions that validate what they already believe. Put another way: . . . A newspaper’s fact-check feature won’t be enough to change [a partisan’s] mind.

“‘We’re in a culture where people still honestly believe Barack Obama is a Muslim who was born out of this country,’ noted Mary Beth Earnheardt, an assistant professor of journalism at Youngstown State University who has studied media effects.”

—Henry J. Gomez, political writer,
Even in an age of fact-check journalism, the political whopper lives: Analysis,”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer,
March 24, 2012

• Editorial Comment: Never let the facts get in the way of a good bias.

• April Phools: Did you miss yesterday’s Foolish WORDs from the past, including a great 1957 BBC TV spoof about the spring spaghetti crop in the Alps? Click here.

• Relocation: The JCOM faculty are now baffled by stacks of boxes as we complete our move from the venerable old Animal Science Building to swanky new offices in the new Ag Building on the USU Quad.

• HELP WANTED: New Faculty for Fall 2012! The JCOM Department at Utah State is taking applications for a multimedia instructor, teaching our new required multimedia class and assisting with the Aggie TV newscast classes. For full position description, click here.

• JCOM Teaching Excellence: The Journalism & Communication Department is one of three finalists for USU’s 2012 department teaching excellence award. Junior Emily Landeen produced this video of student feedback on the department. Click on image of Utah Statesman editor Catherine Bennett (right).

News from
our award-winning student news site, The Hard News Café

Hard News Café Weekly News Roundup (April 2)
Breaking Aggie TV News for March 28, 2012
Corey Cozzens sweeps top 3 awards at Spice on Ice competition, by Steve Kent
Nibley clarifies electronic sign ordinance; Petersen’s sign survives, by Tmera Bradley
Cherry Peak ski area permit upheld by Board of Adjustments
, by Josh Ruggles
Hyde Parkers will always get top priority for park use, mayor says, by Shannon McCleve
The Brady Jardine Story, on KUTV2’ Talkin’ Sports, by ATV Sports’ Bailey McMurdie
City Council votes to expand River Heights with annexation, by Sean O’Sullivan
The Aggie TV News Team Cache Rendezvous (March 21 edition). Bookmark ATV News
Cat dies in RV park fire; trailer renter charged with arson, by Mary Stocking
DEADLINE EXTENDED to APRIL 9: JCOM Scholarships for 2012-13.

PeezPIX by Ted Pease
Catalog here

Spring’s coming....


1 comment:

  1. I'm afraid this is true. Bias is set in three pots of concrete: 1) cultural blindness -- we just don't notice; 2) motivated blindness -- it's painful to admit we're wrong and may not serve our self-interest to come clean; and 3) social ostracism -- breaking with friends' and colleagues' biases may alienate us from them.