Besides reading the news stories and looking for bias errors (it is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it), I also read and track the editorials. Each editorial is graded as Liberal, Conservative, or Neutral. For the letters section, I count them and give the rating to the plurality of the letters.
The Globe editorial page of June 12 reaches Liberal perfection, with a perfect five Liberal columns and no Conservative columns. If you count the cartoon, it would be six to zero.
It is my belief that a balanced editorial opinion ratio is both fair and wise. It gives biased opinion information by experts for both sides of contentious issues, thus educating readers and giving them important perspectives. If the Globe’s mission is to help keep their readers current on events, shouldn’t that include opinions that disagree with the Globe’s?
Obviously, it is hard to have an article balancing an anti-Nazi column. You might not even find someone willing to write a “pro-Nazi” editorial. But examples of these far-out scenarios are not even close to the situation we are currently in in the United States. Donald Trump is not a Nazi, and he was supported by roughly half the voters. While Conservative opinions are few and far between on the pages of the Globe, they are very much available and mainstream thoughts. It would be very easy for the Globe to achieve balance in its editorial opinion coverage.
When the Globe decides to preach on its editorial pages, it doesn’t “educate” those who disagree, it shuts them out. If they feel like both sides are not being presented, many readers will simply not read any editorials. Instead, if the Globe believed in the rightness of Liberalism, it should be eager to have both sides presented, shouldn’t it?
The Letters section at the very least should be printing a majority of letters from Conservatives whenever the Globe uses its editorial discretion to write a Liberal editorial. Instead, the Globe likes to run letters supporting its own editorial positions. This is pretty pathetic.
*Requires minimim of 5 Ratings to be displayed
Grading articles for bias is subjective. We hope that with widespread participation, we can give the reporters and editors at the Boston Globe valuable feedback on their professional work. Here are our suggestions for grading news articles for bias. (We do not rate editorial opinion columns for bias. But we do analyze the Boston Globe for overall editorial balance.)
Consider whether the article is completely free of bias (a grade of 10 or A), has been mostly free of bias (8 or 9, A- or B+), has been biased but not terribly or where the bias did not hurt the integrity of the underlying information (7 or 6, B or B-).
If the article was fairly biased overall, but subtle; or where the bias was particularly prominent but isolated to a single section, give the article a 5 or 4 (C+ or C). If the article was very biased but perhaps not intentionally so, perhaps a C- (3) would be deserved.
If the article was extremely prejudiced with major misstatements of fact, intentionally misleading, or ignored well known facts to advance a false narrative, give the article a D or F (2 or 1).
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