The Dirty Secret of Modern Media

The Dirty Secret of Modern Media, by Paul Kelly, the editor of The Australian newspaper.

Centre-right newspapers back centre-right parties and centre-left newspapers papers back centre-left parties. If you take the two most loved progressive papers in the world, the last time The New York Times backed a Republican for president was 1956, and the last time The Guardian backed a conservative for British prime minister was 1951. Yes, they are seriously partisan — and that’s a free media.

Note that progressive papers promote their political and ideological causes relentlessly in story selection, emphasis and presentation throughout news and opinion, with the four-year campaign by the US liberal media against Donald Trump being the ultimate example. …

All modern media align with a political constituency as integral to their identity, their business model and their client-subscriber base. There are no exceptions; witness Fox News, CNN, The New York Times, the BBC, the ABC, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian. The list is endless.

This is the foundational point for any debate about media bias. It reflects an industry-wide cultural, financial and political reality. If you don’t start from this premise, if you cannot admit this reality, then you don’t deserve to be taken seriously in the media debate — and that seems to eliminate a lot of people.