‘Guardian’ Media Critic Greenslade on Julia Wallace: Balance is ‘Fake,’ U.S. Newspapers Not Liberal

By: E&P Staff

Roy Greenslade, the media analyst for the Guardian newspaper in Britain, has waded into the discussion of media “balance” touched off by Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editor Julia Wallace. In his blog Wednesday, he declares the political balance sought by most U.S. newspapers as “fake” and characterizes charges that papers are mostly liberal as a “phony argument.”

“All that newspapers (and the network broadcasters) have achieved, while trying to appear fair, is in attracting scorn from the public they claim to serve,” Greenslade writes. “People perceive the bias they wish to perceive.”

Greenslade was reacting to a recent column by Wallace in which she said readers “don’t want us to be a newspaper with a strong point of view. But what they do want is, they want balance. If we have a view to the right, they want a balance of a view to the left.”

While striving for balance has done little to engender the public’s trust, Greenslade argues, it also consigns some viewpoints to near-taboos. “What it most certainly does, having read many a US paper, is eliminate from their op-ed pages those who dare to argue against capitalism, the conduct of the state of Israel or the invasion of Iraq.”

Read the entire blog here.


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