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Letter to the editor
Beware media bias in all its forms
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Forsyth County News

Lakeside at Central

By: Jim Dean

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The following is in response to Len Robbins recent column “Want the truth? Turn off TV.”

While the point Mr. Robbins makes about editorial columns being the proper place for opinion is a good one, one would have to be very naive to think that articles outside the editorial pages do not often attempt to influence the reader.

He states that 99.5 percent of newspapers present facts without crossing over into bias. We need look no further than our own Atlanta paper to see proof that’s not true.

It is just as easy for newspapers to achieve influence over their readers as it is for radio or TV.

Some of the ways this is accomplished include; covering, or for that maner not covering, a topic (think Washington Tea Party with over a million attendees and no coverage to speak of), placement in the paper (page 1 vs. page 6), flattering vs. unflattering pictures (checkout the Bush pictures in Newsweek just prior to his second election).

This transparent manipulation of the reader is one of the main reasons for the continuing decline in newspaper readership.

It has been proven that the way something is worded can affect how it is perceived. For proof of this, just look at how some of the questions are worded in so called neutral political surveys.

Ken Flanagan