8th Grade Journalism
Today’s Lincoln Journal Star is a classic example of biased media reporting. An article (not available online) on the front page is titled: “Oil vs. the outdoors: So far, oil is winning.” Hmm, I guess we know where the LJS stands on the ANWR issue.
The implicit bias in that sort of headline is bad enough. But not only is it biased, it’s wrong. The ANWR issue isn’t “oil vs. the outdoors.” The LJS, like many anti-drilling types, is presenting a false dichotomy. The LJS wants you to think “Oh no! Big Oil and all of his friends are going to destroy our precious natural areas!” Which is, of course, false. The faster Big Oil screws up nature, the faster the public will get ticked off and eschew oil (and oil-based products) in favor of products that don’t harm the environment as badly. It isn’t in Big Oil’s interest to coat Alaska in black goo.
The ANWR matter is no more complicated than “drilling for new domestic sources of oil vs. not drilling for new domestic sources of oil.” But then, phrasing it that way doesn’t have the nice visceral effect on readers that the LJS’s preferred wording has.