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they're still better than most big news organizations, but they're massively scewed toward a certain type of left wing echo chamber at this point. I loved reading the publication for years; the Snowden revelations were the high point.

Now you'll get a massive dosage of anti-Sanders, anti-Corbyn hit pieces and similar along that political vein. You'll get a solid 70% of opinion articles pushing extreme feminism. If that's your cup of tea, all the power to you. But I don't think they're remotely impartial for a second anymore.

Comments sections strategically opened or closed or moderated depending on the subject.

Good on them for pulling out of Facebook I guess, but that definitely doesn't mean they're remotely objective at this point in my experience.

News is not Commentary. There's a wall between them in serious publications. Papers like the Guardian and the Wall St. Journal have very specific axes to grind in the Commentary sections. But they both have excellent News organizations. I'm left-leaning and find the WSJ top notch.

I mostly agree with this. I too lean left but appreciate the journalistic work done at the WSJ.

I think The Guardian has lost much of their balance in the past couple years though. I see too much rhetoric in what should be unbiased news lately and while I appreciate well thought out opinions I don't like them creeping into "News". When it does I feel the ghost of Orwell leaning over my shoulder and whispering "there it is".

Can you share a few Guardian articles that are not opinion pieces or a journalist's personal column but still has "too much rhetoric in what should be unbiased news"?

The article: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/dec/24/julian-assange...

The reason their extreme bias shows: https://theintercept.com/2016/12/29/the-guardians-summary-of...

This is a bit of an exception, because it is quite possibly the worst article I've ever seen them put out. But they definitely have a bias, towards the Clinton/Blair faux-left to the point where they not only dislike the right, but also the people like Sanders/Corbyn.

How is that article biased or extreme? It's just a condensed summary of an interview Assange gave to the Italian newspaper la Repubblica. It looks pretty neutral to me.

Edit: Apparently Assange didn't say the things the article claims. If so, it's just shoddy research on the part of the article author, and I'm surprised it hasn't been retracted.

How extreme is your standard for biased reporting, if publishing an article with completely made up claims - and not retracting it - is not what you would consider biased?

> This article was amended on 29 December 2016 to remove a sentence in which it was asserted that Assange “has long had a close relationship with the Putin regime”. A sentence was also amended which paraphrased the interview, suggesting Assange said “there was no need for Wikileaks to undertake a whistleblowing role in Russia because of the open and competitive debate he claimed exists there”. It has been amended to more directly describe the question Assange was responding to when he spoke of Russia’s “many vibrant publications”.

The bias shows in what they choose not not publish, as much in what they publish. Take Israel/Palestine (just to be sure to start an off-topic flamewar): Palestinian civilians are killed almost daily, nothing in the news. An Israeli casualty (military OR civilian): Instant top news on every mass media outlet.

Yep. I bookmarked The Guardian about 3-4 years ago and really enjoyed a lot of what they put out but about two years ago I began to realize just how tilted they were. I'm not sure if it was them or me that changed most but I suspect it was them. I quit tuning into CNN and MSNBC about 4 years ago and back then I recall The Guardian seemed quite balanced in comparison.

It was during our elections last year that they leaned too far for me to take them seriously as a real journalistic endeavor and I scrapped the bookmark because they were wasting my time.

It wasn't easy though. I really wanted to make a donation and support their stated mission of being truly independent news provider, but I just couldn't because they're not. They have a very clear agenda that's promoted with a left wing tilt but really only supports a different group of corporatists than the right.

I will not subsidize that, and that's really what they're asking from us.

The editor changed from Alan Rusbridger to Katharine Viner in summer 2015:


IMO, around that time the editorial policy changed noticably too.

That makes sense. I was not aware of that so thank you for pointing it out.

When they say independent they mean or outside influence and political parties, they absolutely intend to always follow their British liberal tradition. They don't hide this.

Yeah, I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it again but - although I used to be a big fan, and still read the odd piece on The Guardian - one of the things I realised around the time of the Brexit vote is that The Guardian is basically The Daily Mail for Lefties. They have this slick veneer of intellectualism, they're generally more subtle and, yes, they appear to fact check rather more carefully, but the spin and the somewhat shrill tone are nevertheless there. I can't really deal with them any more, but I could say the same of any newspaper these days.

You might consider reading Thomas Frank https://www.theguardian.com/profile/thomas-frank

Who writes how the left ignored the working class and how the working class supported Trump before the election:

March 2016: Millions of ordinary Americans support Donald Trump. Here's why https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/07/donald...

July (post BrExit): The world is taking its revenge against elites. When will America's wake up? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/19/reveng...

I always get very suspicious when I see somebody talking about "extreme feminism". The feminist content I see in the Guardian is of the "we'd really like women to be treated equally to men" kind, which is perfectly ordinary feminism I thought.

How about this recent opinion piece: "Robots are racist and sexist. Just like the people who created them" [0]. Basically if you're one of those "white, straight men" building software you're racist and sexist. I wouldn't call that moderate feminism.

[0] https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/20/robots...

Why is that extreme? The author is asking that developers take care in their work and account for unintended consequences of a non-moral entity learning from a world with racism & sexism in it. That seems prudent to me.

> machines can work only from the information given to them, usually by the white, straight men who dominate the fields of technology and robotics.

> one Google image search using technology “trained” to recognise faces based on images of Caucasians included African-American people among its search results for gorillas

> Microsoft created a chatbot, Tay, which could “learn” and develop as it engaged with users on social media. Within hours it had pledged allegiance to Hitler

> Robots are racist and sexist. Just like the people who created them

The author is determined to see sexist intent in everything, and bends the truth to match. (E.g. claiming Microsoft software pledge allegiance to Hitler.)

That said, steer clear of the opinion pieces and you can avoid the worst of this junk.

Is it not extreme to claim that all software developers are racist and sexist, and are all "white straight male"?

The points she makes otherwise might indeed be worthy of discussion. However I think some of what she describes is simply misclassified data - black people get misclassified, but so do white people (but of course it doesn't make the news). Unless she can prove that white people are misclassified less frequently than black ones, she has no point.

The Tay incident was not due to bias but to trolls purposely feeding the IA racist information. Despite what she vaguely claim later in the article it wasn't encoded, not even subconsciously, in the bot by the developers.

> Is it not extreme to claim that all software developers are racist and sexist, and are all "white straight male"?

I never saw that claim in the article. She did claim that white, straight men dominate fields of technology and robots, but that doesn't seem controversial to me (though I would happy to see evidence against it).

I'm not sure that either of your points diminish the argument of the article. I didn't get the impression that the author thought that developers are purposefully creating racist robots. To me, she was saying that those who suffer bigotry the least will also be the least likely to account for it in the systems they design because they see the world as less bigoted than it is and has been. Sure, in hindsight, the two examples you mentioned can be explained as poor sources of information. But if we're going to avoid bigoted tech & robots, we'll need to catch those issues beforehand, and I think her point is that more diversity would lead to better foresight on such things.

Never seen the Thomas the Tank Engine is sexist because Percy got covered in pink paint and didn't like it one then?

I agree. The Guardian's definitely gone down hill since Snowden. The news they do decide to report is pretty good, but their opinion pieces very often push socially regressive viewpoints.

What usually happens with their opinion pieces is that most of them are pretty uncontroversial and bland. But the ones that are silly, extreme and/or hypocritical are the ones that make it to the top precisely because they are so.

Take the example of their opinion pieces today.

Article 1: French polls show populist fever is here to stay as globalisation makes voters pick new sides

Article 2: How the opposition parties can still make a contest of this election

Two reasonable articles, which are not amongst the 10 most viewed or clicked on. What is amongst the most viewed opinion pieces then?

Article 1: Allow me to womansplain the problem with gendered language

Article 2: Serena Williams’s pregnant victory reminds us how amazing women’s bodies are. Subititle: Are women the weaker sex? I don't think so.

So the well-reasoned, sane articles are ignored, while the clickbait rubbish is well....clicked on, makes their 'most viewed' and is featured on their front page. A large part of the problem is people's tendencies to click on what you call "socially regressive" viewpoints. It's not like the people agree with them either, most of the comment section involves bashing the author. Some people are just looking for articles to get angry too.

NYT also publishes some pretty crass, clickbaity opinion pieces. I used to like Krugman, but his opinion pieces have gotten increasingly annoying the last few years. It's not that I disagree with what he says, it's just that they're poorly written rants that merely serve to make NYT look more tabloid.

I've seen that too.

As the commenter above me stated, in 2015 Alan Rusbridger left and got replaced with Katharine Viner

There are individual vocal Corbyn and Sanders supporters- Owen Jones of the Guardian for example is possibly the only person in the entirety of the mainstream media to be an ardent Corbyn supporter, and his pro-Corbyn articles frequently hit the front page, but as a whole it's true that most journalists there are Blairites. Sort of very mild-centre left who are socially liberal and oppose austerity, but are still pro-corporate.

That's not great, but for US news they are certainly in the top 3(alongside NYT and WaPo) and the only ones who are free.

Opinion isn't news, as another stated.

Nobody is objective. The Guardian is clear in how it differentiates news and opinion.

High clarity is what helps people most. Couple that with some diversity in sources, and one ends up reasonably well informed.

To me, they've gotten to be the left's response to Breitbart. (Yea I realize I'm going to catch a lot for flack for that. However, columnist/opinion writers for the guardian have been advocating for violence against men and quite a few concerning things)

Breitbart being the advocate for... violence against women? Or quite a few unconcerning things?

Anyway, you make an unsubstantiated (and practically incomprehensible) claim and yes, you're going to catch "flak" for it. HN being the advocate for substantive discussion.

Adding links to representative articles will make your claim much more believable and convincing. As it is my initial reaction is to reject to simply reject your claim as hyperbole.

If you're going to claim they're advocating violence against men you're going to have to cite your examples.

I don't have any links because I stopped reading the source years ago. (For that reason, I did write to the editors, and never got a response back) IIRC Laurie Penny was one that stood out.

Care to recommend any objective news outlets?


I am quite enjoying it these days. It presents the same news from various news sources and highlights a crowd sourced 'bias' rating for them. So, you can see the same story side-by-side from Fox News, New York Times, WashPo, etc.

No news source is truly objective. Your best option is to read various news sources with different biases, and keeping in mind how they lean.

> No news source is truly objective.

No reader is truly objective either, including you ;-)

That's not entirely true. One can be objective but it does take some self awareness that's not touted much these days.

It's a noble goal but, I think, doomed, because we're all inherently biased towards things that a) were written(1), b) in a language we understand, and c) were delivered to us somehow. What about all the things that happened that weren't written-about? What about all the things that didn't happen, for that matter? The tree over there in Bloomington IN at the corner of Whatever and Whatever, is still there -- find out more, tonight at 11! Or what about the things that were written-about, just not in your own language? Putin has an 83% approval rating back home, but the US media seem to want me to think he's the next Hitler. If I could read Russian better, I could find out a lot more about it.

What about the things that were only described with squeaks amongst porpoises cavorting in the deep? What about the things that happened on the other side of the galaxy? We're predisposed against knowing anything about any of these categories of things.

(1) When I say "written" you can alternatively insert (for example) "talked about" or "filmed" or "addressed in any medium."

Edit to get rid of italics-incontinence.

Well, I doubt any of us is perfect. I do my best to read the news & opinion responsibly: consider what evidence is given and do not give weight to hearsay with no proof, wait for each side to have its say before weighing evidence, and to make no rush to judge anyone.

I know I'm not perfect in those regards, but I try to at least avoid marching to the drumbeat of the two minute hates the politicians use to herd people.

Even if you are truly self-aware, there is no view without a point of view.

(And if you think you are truly self-aware, you have not read Thinking Fast and Slow. You should.)


The Intercept while not perfect, has a pro-privacy, pro-people stance and does great reporting about serious issues largely ignored by mainstream outlets, like drone strikes.

Reuters or AP is the closest you can get to objective news, as they're both press agencies. (Impartiality and objectivity are key principles of any press agency.)

There is still a bias in which things are considered news worthy and how often they are reported. In principle an objective newspaper can correct for that.

this is the problem the BBC falls foul of. Their reporting is reasonably impartial but they're infamous for excluding reporting on topics that they are not politically aligned with and over-reporting stories that support certain narratives.

   Impartiality and objectivity are key principles of any press agency
Should be key principles of any press agency. If you're old enough to remember TASS in Soviet times (TASS still exists and is still under Russian state control and still portrays the world in a way very favourable to Russia) you'll know what I mean here, or just look at KCNA (the North Korean press agency) for a current example. I'd go so far as to suspect any state-controlled press agency of bias in one way or another.

I've been reading Reuters for the past couple months. It's about as objective as you can get. For me other places are fine to read opinions/commentaries after I read the actual news first and gave it a bit of thought myself.

By "certain type of left wing", do you mean "Third Way"? I thought Sanders and Corbyn were considered very much left-wing?

Corbyn and Sanders are left-of-centre.

They are not even close to the hard left that the media paints them as.

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