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Got Bias?

If you work at a daily newspaper, it's probably more likely than not that you've been accused of bias in the past year. At least that's what Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University found among the 527 randomly selected newspaper journalists at 218 daily papers in the U.S. that it surveyed, reports Editor & Publisher. (The full report will be available here sometime later today.)

Considering the ever-growing presence of organizations predicated on identifying such bias, this is not a terribly surprising piece of information. More interesting was that according to the report, those who had been accused of bias "often blame poor editing as contributing to inaccuracy in their articles." E&P also notes that "sources, anonymous or not, also were viewed as 'problematic and potentially leading to factual errors…'" Wrote E&P:

Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they suspected a source was deliberately misleading them; 31 percent said that they had been misled by a source; 35 percent learned that one of their published stories had contained false information provided by a source; and 33 percent had concerns about a source that caused them to review a story with their newspapers' legal counsel.
In addition to the negative affect on the industry of numerous incidents of plagiarism, the report also found that, "newspaper journalists say problems in television news, on Web sites and blogs, and even in tabloids and shopper publications all have a deleterious effect on the credibility of newspaper journalists. In addition, almost one in five say that criticism of media by politicians erodes readers' trust."
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