WAN: Bias doesn’t sell

I was beginning to think I was in the minority in valuing relatively unadorned information over commentary and bloviation. I also chalked it up to the American tradition of newspaper journalism that I was trained in versus the British tradition. I’ve been told several times by Brits how bland American newspapers are. I had almost come to the conclusion that I was more interested in information over commentary because I’m a news junkie and, therefore, rather non-representative. Well, possibly not.

From Stephen Brook post over at the Guardian’s Organ Grinder blog:

Bias puts people off newspaper, was a finding of a Harris Interactive/Innovations/WAN poll release at the World Newspapers Congress and World Editors Forum today.

It was the third most popular reason cited by people as to why they didn’t read papers, from the online survey of 8,749 adults in seven countries, including the US, Britain, Spain and Australia.

Bias was cited as the most popular reason in Britain and Spain, and the third most popular in Australia.

That is one of the findings by a Harris Interactive/Innovations/WAN poll released at the World Newspapers Congress and World Editors Forum today. The online survey asked 8,749 readers in 7 countries, including the US, UK, Spain and Australia.

I give Stephen Brook points for his Heart of Darkness reference and also the admission that in British journalism, the loss of bias is perceived as descent into blandness.

But I wonder if the perception of blandness is about the journalist and not the audience.

It would also be interesting to know what people saw as bias. Is it something they don’t agree with, or the interjection of opinion by the journalist?

While I may be a minority in my interests, I don’t think I’m in the minority of being really busy. I just don’t have time to wade through a lot of flowery prose and commentary dressed up as journalism to get to the facts of the story. I just need good, solid information delivered clearly and concisely to make economic, political and other life decisions, and I don’t think I’m alone.