Should the news media endorse political parties?

The blogger Poneke, New Zeeland, is writing an interesting post about media endorsements to political parties on his page today. This is indeed a very important topic to discuss. As a free market-nut I do of course support freedom of the press, and I am totally against all sorts of governmental support to all kinds of media (take that Swedish socialist TV I & 2). But it is a serious problem that a lot of papers today more or less openly support political parties, sometimes pretty foggish. Poneke’s argument against this is that in New Zeeland they don’t have the media competition for that. That is fully understandable I think and he’s making a valid point. We have the same situation here in Iceland where monopolies seem to be a national chronic sickness or something.

Again, politicians shouldn’t interfere with what newspapers say or do, but in a such a small state like Iceland wouldn’t be a good idea to sort of minimize the impact of media endorsement to political views and/or parties? Let’s face it, people can’t be politically objective – no one is completely indifferent to any political matter – but the press should try to be as close as possible in a small state like Iceland, especially because the lack of competition.


About tegis

This blog belongs to Carl-Mikael A. Teglund - tegis. Swedish emigrant with a heart for languages, philosophy, history, and politics (classical liberalism in the European tradition). Go ahead and look, read, or listen. I'm sure you will find it interesting.
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5 Responses to Should the news media endorse political parties?

  1. Andrew says:

    Hi I found your blog while searching for images of censorship. I just wanted to give you something to think about as far as the media openly endorsing politicians. I think they should even in a small country like Iceland. The reasons being is that you’re right people can’t be politically objective, being open about their endorsement reveals the bias (good or bad) that people have, allowing people to make a more honest choice. Its better to have these things in the open than it is for a reporter to hide behind so called objective journalism, and adding to the confusion. Consider this and ask yourself, if a socialist candidate was running for office and the media was endorsing him. Would that make you more or less likely to vote for that candidate? Would that also make you more or less likely to believe what the media is saying?

    I live in America, here our media tries hard to be objective, I think that’s why they talk about a politician’s hair so much. Because they are hiding they also open themselves up to charges of bias which may or may not be true, but because they wish to be objective the media will flip sides in an attempt to compensate for their perceived bias. Our “news” media isn’t news. I don’t think you could find a single American who doesn’t complain about the MSM “Mainstream Media” regardless of where they find themselves on the political spectrum.

    I hope this reaches you and best of luck.

  2. tegis says:

    Thanks for the comment Andrew.

    Maybe it wouldn’t make me more willing to vote for that candidate or party but that is mainly because I’m pretty well-read about politics and I know where I stand. But for the average Joe on the street perhaps. People in general sadly believe in what they see and hear on the news media. Maybe it would also be welcomed with more education in source criticism for everyone before they enter the adult world …
    But hey, you can explain one thing for me. How come the news network FOX write “Fair and balanced” as their slogan? Even I can see that is not the case, they are not even close being objective. I’m not saying they’re bad, I’m just saying it is obvious that they are not “fair and balanced”. It bewilders me, to say at least.

  3. judy says:

    Hi, I have been having a difficult time for years with this question of the media openly declaring a particular political leaning. Its not about you, the journalist or media, its about reporting the facts and leaving the intelligent readers or viewers to come to their own conclusions. The open bias distorts true facts for the biased agenda and leaves the public robbed or eroded in their ability to formulate a true and complete picture and assessment of the situations, events and political parties open and hidden stance. It is poor journalism and i am turned off and distrusting of all those who openly endorse and why, and what is really their true agenda to gain. And actually open endorsements breeds far more confusion and hostilities in homes, offices and universities. Its even given too much arrogance and power to the profession as they can sway the public opinion which is not their primary job and purpose and has diminished the integrity and humility of the profession to serve without bias or personal agenda.

  4. judy says:

    Sorry left out my complete email.

  5. Waow enjoyed reading this article. I added your feed to my reader.

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