Saturday, April 13, 2013

Another Case Of Media Bias?

I do want to be fair to my local fish-wrap, the Pasadena Star-News. Usually it does a pretty good job for a low to mid-sized daily.
But what I am about to show you, well I will let you be the judge.
This past Monday, two famous people died.
One was Annette Funicello, former Mousketeer, actress whose wholesome image made her perfect for the beach party movies of the 1960s.
The other was the former prime minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Lady Margaret Thatcher.
So, who got the front page coverage?
Why, Annette Funicello, of course.
And as you can see, the story continues inside.
So, what about Lady Thatcher?
Well, she made page seven. One can be glad it was still in the main news section, right?
Even the headline is sort of demeaning, doncha think? And look how short it is in comparison to the death of Mrs. Funicello? And yes, the Thatcher story is an AP story. But still, who had a great impact on people? Who was able to make substantive change to where they lived?
Now I want to be clear. This is no disrespect to Mrs. Funilcello. But she had been out of public view for over 20 years as the effects of Multiple Sclerosis became unbearable.
Lady Thatcher, while out of office for 23 years, still was making an impact on her nation and those that mattered.
OK, so maybe it was not a case of media bias. But I was not the only one to question the fish-wraps news judgement.
In the next day's fish-wrap, two letters to the editor questioned the judgement of the stories and their placement.
If I was the editor, I would have put Lady Thatcher's death in the box. But, I would have put Mrs. Funicello's death article to the right. Thus two people that are important in different ways would have gotten the kind of respectful coverage that both deserved.
I am going with the theory that this is a slight to Lady Thatcher on the part of the editor. Absolute bias? Probably not, but Lady Thatcher's passing is more of consequence because of the changes that she made as the first woman elected to the post of prime minister in the U. K.'s history. Mrs. Funicello did make a lot of people happy and was active in the early days of American television.
At the end of the day, this is another case of media bias.

1 comment:

English Northerner said...

Except one of them ruined the lives of many people and all but destroyed a whole region of the UK which is still suffering from heavy unemployment, poverty and homelessness, and that one sure wasn't Ms. Funicello!

The paper got it right this time!