biased news?

By Diomedes1 ยท 18 replies
Sep 3, 2005
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  1. I know this may be a tad cheeky coming from a forum newcomer, but it seems to me the news on the techspot frontpage is a bit biased? It seems that when their is news say, regarding Microsoft the slant is always negative, the writer always takes a skeptical, cyincal view, and it shows in the articles. On the other hand, when somthing about Linux pops up, its always got a positive slant. The same goes with AMD over Intel, or say Firefox over IE (its always language like 'yet another flaw in IE'). I dont know if its just me, but do the authors love the underdog or somthing? Or are they Linux loving hippies?

    Don't take this as bitching however, i think this place is great and the help from the guys on teh forums is second to none.
  2. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    ...Interesting way of putting it

    Anyways, with such things as "yet another flaw in IE" I feel that such a statement is quite accurate. There seems to be critical flaws turning up at a rate of about 1 a day on occasions.

    I personally feel that the news is reflected quite accyrately, and is most often reported with much the same sort of perspective as any other site reports it. On the odd occasion wher microsoft does something truly worth praise, praise they get. On the other hand, when somene in the open source world does something questionable, that's reported too.

    Clearly there is a slight bias, I'll be honest, but thenthat's always going to be there iun any piece of news, no,matter where it comes from. Newspapers are a prime example, as are the various news networks on TV.
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,165   +986

    Another view is the those without an opinion usually have little to say.

    Opinions come from experience(s), both pro and con.
    When you get bit over and over again, most of us try to help our friends from
    learning the hard way.

    I could rant for days on why Unix or Mac is better than Windows, but that
    presentation doesn't persuade readers to drop their opinions nor to buy/use
    other systems. Windows is a very successful and commercial product.
    (btw: Mr Gates didn't invent the GUI-- Xerox Parcv did, Steve Jobs and
    Mr Gates saw it demonstrated ... and the rest is history )

    Most of mankind likes Newton's 3rd law:
    ...bodies at rest stay at rest until acted upon by an external force.
    so we tend to avoid change - - welcome to the crowd.

    We see many asking What's the Best/Fastest/Easiest xyz ...
    and the answer should always be 'That depends upon ....'

    Pragmatism is its own virtue :0 and the best rule of all is Caveat Emptor!

    My wife is Irish, my ancestors were Scotch/German, I we love Italian sea food! Via-va la difference!
  4. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    Yup, but there usual is a commentary "bias" when posting news. Compare reporters on Fox News with CNN.
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,165   +986

    The news in America is a managed commodity. Yes we have 1st amendment,
    but that doesn't guarantee truth in advertising. With the reporters in New
    Orleans and commentaters in New York, haven't you heard the level of pain from
    the on-site reporter? Some are getting really upset with the laze-fare attitudes
    from the networks. Why? Because they are on the battle field and know first
    hand. Yep, sometimes they sound like the little boy crying wolf -- and
    sometimes there is actually a wolf at the door. Just ask the Mayor of New Orleans.

    Ok, apologies for the politics. Can we agree that access to good technical info here,
    it's worth a tad of informed bias?

    I've been reading newletters for decades now and you should see the amount
    of pure advertising pawned off as 'news'. Personally, I'll take the bias, which
    is cleary seen, to the hype of advertising any day.
  6. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    Very true - when bias is obvious, you can decide for yourself. When bias is hidden, it's propaganda.
  7. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    If it makes you feel any better I'm a huge MS fan. I'm probably one of the only mods here who is :) Don't get me wrong though, I still use several other OSes, but I couldn't live without Windows.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,165   +986

    Hey, they're your shoes and if they are comfortable to you, God bless.
    Go in peace :)
  9. Diomedes1

    Diomedes1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    I personally think that perhaps using more objective language (i.e reporting simply the facts, eg. 'A flaw has been descovered in watever recently', rather than 'yet another flaw') is what should be sought after. Wether bias is rife or not in media isnt the point, i'm just saying perhaps it would be better to use a bit more objective, allbeit more boring langauge and report simply the facts rather than put the authors own touch of personality on it. One of the main reasons i brought this up is that where-ever i go on the internet, you find tech guy incessantly bitching about the monoply that is microsoft, or how much it sucks compared to Linux, or how much IE sucks compared to Firefox or Opera. If windows or IE sucked so much, they wouldnt have the overwhelmingly large part of the market. I guess i just kinda wish people would stop complaining about microsoft, or IE, or bascially industry giants, because they do more for tech that the little guys and it is them that most of the tech world is based around. I think they deserve a little more credit than they normally get from the Unix humping tech rebel hippy.

    I guess i should tred carefully, because these 'Unix humping tech rebel hippies' are the guys that sort my nooby problems out on the forums.

    No, im not a microsoft fanboy :p
  10. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    I'm a non-reformest digital hippie

    I simply like computers ,
    anything and everything.
    Even the parts that don't quite work as advertised.
    Hardware and software alike.

    PPL seem to think in bilinear:
    1. mac vs pc
    2.unix vs ms
    3.nvidia vs ati

    Where it not for faulty programming, poor engineering
    or out right false advertising, then I'd have no reason
    to look for a place like TS.

    The taste of life is in the conflict of it.
    I've sat on a few and various forums. From the days of dialup
    bbs to current day forums.

    This was the first place where the driving force is the conflict.
    Where no one is put aside by the type of problem or level of
    technical understanding. They are more likely to find an ally,
    as well as a solution.

    I love a place where a devote redhat user can help me understand
    why firefox is safer than IE, on an Xp pro install.
    or how to flash the e-prom for updating the bios.

    I have cause to learn here.

    Bias vs bios
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,165   +986

    Science lives/dies by consistent and independently verified results.
    IF ANYTHING, sadly the human is seldomly consistent or objective. The response
    to a problem today is greatly infleunced by the debugging efforts of last nights burning
    of the midnight oil.

    IF you've done any professional programming, then you too
    would become exasperated at 'yet another buffer overflow' bug. How many
    are needed before the bell rings and one concludes
    ...Maybe we need to investigate and fix all possible buffer overflow issues?
    And if you make a project proposal to do so, most of the time you get dumped
    on with, "not a practical or economically viable solution" by management.
    And that's a pragmatic response! If it's academically possible to overflow, but
    yet after years of use in the real world has not, does it make good sense to
    spend R&D $$$ on a future *maybe* problem?

    The only place we can say ABSOLUTELY, is life support and space navigation systems.
    All the others are, "Fixit when it breaks".

    Also don't confuse commerical success with Better/Faster/Cheaper.
    No one has EVER been fired for buying an IBM mainframe, but that does not
    equate to the best (design, price, performance, usabilify, reliability,....).
  12. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Posts: 7,671   +988

    Thank you all for your feedback. Although our news editors read the forums regularly, I will still make sure they read your comments and take your thoughts into consideration for future coverage.
  13. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I don't agree, but I think its perhaps a tad understandable to think this.

    On the one hand, Microsoft has some pretty bad business practices. This has been going on for years. Bill Gates and Microsoft do have a kind of "techo-nazi" image in a lot of popular technology media, and we might get pulled a little towards that. As for "yet another hole in IE" - I think we all know what a security nightmare that software is. There was a time where, on an almost daily basis, terrible holes were being found inthe world's most popular browser. After all the court cases and takeovers and other hostile stuff concerning the company over the years, I think its understandable if they get a little bit of a bad rep. Yes, they do get criticised, but they do also ask for that criticism. They make a lot of promises that are never fulfilled, and they disappoint a lot. But don't make the mistake of thinking that we are anti-Microsoft here, we are not.

    On the other hand, Microsoft has also brought some wonderful things to computing, and we often make mention of that. I have found quotations from news I have done on Microsoft appearing on many pro-Microsoft sites, so obviously we can't be too against them!

    Now, I've done a number of stories that criticised, for example, the MPAA and RIAA. Or HD DVD versus Blu-Ray, and how silly all of that is. I even wrote a story that was almost hammering Cisco because of the very poor way they dealt with a security issue. However, we don't seem to get any criticism ourselves for that, but when its Microsoft issues suddenly people speak up. Mircrosoft stuff seems to be very emotive for people for some reason.

    I do agree with some of what you are saying, but I think its greatly exaggerated. We certainly don't have any kind of anti-Microsoft, pro-Linux agenda, if that is what you think then you are definately wrong. I'll watch out for what you say, though, as I wouldn't like the news to be strongly perceived this way. Its certainly not my, or any one else's objective here to turn people off of Microsoft, and if you think that then you are wrong, sorry.
  14. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Here's my take on this.

    I think what you may consider bias, I consider to be editorial perspective. True, I agree that one particular person will have a personal preference, and that preferance can appear in writing. I don't see this as a neccessarily bad thing, however. Here's why. News with a purpose is more interesting and tends to be a funner read than a plain jane press report. There are myriads of news sites out there and many of them focus primarily on just reporting an event. To me, that isn't an interesting read, and definitely not something I would come back to. I assure you, though, regardless of my personal preferences, I try my best to keep an open mind. I am critical, and very much so. I feel it is important to not only understand the news, but understand the implications of events that happen.

    I assure you though, I will try my best to be critical, but fair. I believe everyone, companies alike, deserve a chance to be heard.
  15. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    As for all of this Intel vs AMD stuff, I have never had an opinion either way. I have had chips from both companies that were equally as good.
  16. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 966

    I agree

    Intel & Amd are just like ford and chevy.
    The 1st 50 years they had the same firing order, the cylinders were numbered
    differently. Meaning it was hard to tell one crankshaft from the other.
    Chevy R&D was based on dirt racing tracks, Ford was on ashphault.
    One is not better than the other, just stronger at points the other is weak.
    I've owned both of both (Ford, Chevy, Intel, Amd)
    How about we try it like this?:
    Chevy vs Intel
    Ford vs Amd
    This makes as much sense as the other comparisons..I like all 4, just not
    everything each one makes, they have all made some dawgz :haha:
  17. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Same here. I'm sporting an athlon64 and a dual core pentium 4 as my two primary systems. I use both windows and linux, too!

  18. Diomedes1

    Diomedes1 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thanks for the replys P66 and Soul (and the abstract view of socrates!), i'm glad to have heard an actual news writers view on it. I can see why bais may be present in news, but what i think should be sought after is an objective a story as possible. I dont want it to be like with newspapers, where to get the whole story, you have to read a right wing one, a left wing one, then a centre one to actually get a good clear view on an event. I disagree with the fact that having bias makes for a bit more of an interesting and enteraining read. I dont read news to be enterained, i read it to be informed.

    I dont know if you think you guys would benefit from it, but i found it very helpful to visit The Economist website and look at some sylistic techniques that suit different types of writing (The Economist is noted as being gramatically and stylistically perfect). It certainly gave me some great guildlines on writing for differnet purposes and what to keep in mind. Though you'd never realise from my online grammar :p

    Thanks for the feedback, and ill keep in mind when reading then news that you arnt 'Linux Loving Hippies' lol.


  19. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    dial up BBSes !!!! Man, I remember those !!!!

    Methuselah man, Methuselah! haha

    I remember when 300bps was the shiznitz! on an atari 8bit even!

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