Content Bias At The Arizona Daily Star

Newspapers often have a certain point of view. The Arizona Daily Star is nicknamed “The Red Star” for its liberal editorial stance. An example of the Star’s liberal “journalism” is given by David Briggs in his Arizona Daily Independent article “Good Journalism Is Based on Facts Not Speculation.

Besides editorial bias, newspapers also have content bias, i.e., stories they choose to print versus the stories they don’t print.

I have noticed that the Arizona Daily Star fills its ever-thinning print edition with wire-service stories that tend to be one-sided and alarmist about the environment and climate.

Back in 2012 in my Wryheat blog, I documented 10 stories that fit that category and showed why those stories were not completely factual, see: Do Newspapers Have a Responsibility to Check Wire-service Stories? That same year in another article, I showed how the Star reported only part of a story, which was alarmist, rather than the whole story, which gave a completely different picture of the issue and negated the alarmism, see: Challenge to the Arizona Daily Star – Get the Facts. More recently, I’ve noticed that the Star has failed to report the great divergence between climate model predictions upon which climate policy is based, and observational data from the real world (see my ADI article: “Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature.”

I asked the Star staff about their apparent content bias. At first, they pretended not to understand the question, but eventually, they said in effect that they assume the wire-service stories had been checked, and besides, the Star does not have the staff to check the stories. And, the Star apparently cannot legally use stories not gathered from contracted wire-service providers. Those are probably valid reasons, but where does it leave the readers?

So far, the staff of the Arizona Daily Star have not answered these questions: What responsibility do newspapers have to present factual stories to their readers? What responsibility do newspapers have to present all sides of a story? Editorials intrinsically present a particular viewpoint, but today, too many news stories are, in fact, editorials. What happened to ethics in journalism: truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity?

Editorial and content bias are endemic to most mainstream newspapers, so it pays to get your news from a variety of sources.

Perhaps Mark Twain was right when he said: “If you don’t read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.”

So ends this editorial.