Search This Blog

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Both Sides Now?


Journalists in the United States differ markedly from the general public in their views of “bothsidesism” – whether journalists should always strive to give equal coverage to all sides of an issue – according to a recent Pew Research Center study. A little more than half of the journalists surveyed (55%) say that every side does not always deserve equal coverage in the news. By contrast, 22% of Americans overall say the same, whereas about three-quarters (76%) say journalists should always strive to give all sides equal coverage.

It is not surprising that most people would say "of course!" when a poll asks about covering both sides.  On its face, the answer seems obvious.  My guess, however, is that most journalists have had to think a little more deeply.  Yes, it makes sense to cover both sides of a bill in Congress or a state legislature.  But what about settled science?  Do journalists have to give equal coverage to flat earthers?  Such people do exist: