Monday, June 11, 2007

"Cebu Daily News" is a misnomer

Here is the start of the headline story of today's issue of Cebu Daily News:

By Chris Ligan, Jhunnex Napallacan
Cebu Daily News
Last updated 04:05pm (Mla time) 06/11/2007

Cebu City, Philippines - Fuente Osmeña rotunda should remain with Cebu City.
The capital letters and bold red text are not a stylistic decision on my part, that is actually how it appears on today's front page. I don't care what the news story is actually about, professional newspapers are not supposed to be taking sides like this. There is a line between news and propaganda. It is not a thin line, and Cebu Daily News is on the wrong side of it. It annoys me greatly that even the most apparently-respectable of news sources has to be dissected with a critical eye and taken with a grain of salt. Even more annoying is that hardly anyone seems to be as vexed about this as I am.

Blame Wikipedia for raising my standards to expect and demand a higher standard of neutrality from mainstream news sources. One of the five essential pillars of Wikipedia is that it has a neutral point of view-- and one obvious shortcoming of Wikipedia that people often point out is that, being editable by absolutely anyone, it is prone to abuse by drooling idiots and point-of-view warriors. This is a valid point... often when not enough people are watching, an article can start to look more like a fan page. The commonly percieved solution to this would be to limit editing to a much smaller establishment, a group of people that simply have to be trusted to provide balanced news (of course, this would never happen to Wikipedia as it contradicts its very foundation).

But, oh, what to do when the point-of-view warriors are in the establishment...