I’ve jumped into the media bias argument before. Usually, I explain it with a rant about media being a business determined to make a profit. If there’s a slant, it’s because the business people within the media organization think they can make a profit from it. (Either that, or they’re bad business people. I leave that option open.) If you, as the consumer of that media bias, don’t like it, stop buying. Flip the channel, put your money in another newspaper box, whatever action makes you no longer a consumer of the bias you don’t like. It’s that simple, really. Especially in the age of the Internets, where there’s a web site for everything. It’s not complicated.
Yet, some still wish to pretend like it’s more. Consider this question from a college football chat hosted by The Washington Post:
Silver Spring, Md.: So since Virginia Tech fans alway [sic] come on here and whines [sic] about coverage in the paper, do you think they are happy with the number of stories in there the last few days while Maryland has received little coverage. And on that note, since Philadelphia and New York City are closer to D.C. then [sic] Blacksburg, I was wondering when the Post was going to start covering Delaware, Penn State, West Virginia, Pitt, Temple, Towson, St. Joe’s, Rutgers and St. Johns as hometown schools, too.
The individual has a point in the “MSM is biased” worldview. Unfortunately, the facts don’t hold up to scrutiny when scrubbed with that nonsense. I could offer my own analysis with wonderful wordplay, but I’ll just leave it to the reporter’s response. Enjoy:
Dan Steinberg: The Rutgers-UConn tilt will likely lead the sports section on Sunday.
No, actually, we’ve answered this before but are happy to answer it again. We cover Tech not because of their proximity to D.C. but because of the large and rabid fan base that lives in our readership area, which we judge in part by our readership surveys. For further evidence, check out the stands in Byrd on Thursday night. It’s unfortunate that people in Maryland might have to read Tech stories that don’t interest them, but it’s the challenge of putting out a paper in this market, and we try to be as diverse as possible based on reader interest. Tomorrow’s game preview story will be about the quarterbacks Ralph Friedgen and Charlie Taaffe have produced over the years.
Also, I think you forgot to demand more Delaware State coverage.
It really is that simple. There are many Hokies in the D.C. metro area. They want to read about the Hokies. They have quarters. The Washington Post knows that Hokies will insert quarters into the coin slots of newspaper boxes throughout the region. The Washington Post has a preference for which newspaper boxes receive those quarters. So they cover Virginia Tech football. (As well as Maryland, Virginia, and Navy.) You say bias, I say economics.
Yes, I know I offered my own analysis with wonderful wordplay after I said I wouldn’t. So what? Go Hokies!