But the prominence of more extreme groups in the media could also be the result of journalists seeking to uphold objectivity and fairness in their reporting. Journalists may be attempting to maintain balance in their reporting by incorporating the views of two or more polarized groups, thus telling both sides of the story. The more nuanced and less sectarian views of moderate groups, on the other hand, bring an element of ambiguity to the story, potentially making it harder to explain.
“Selecting two opposing views — say very conservative and very liberal — thus becomes a shortcut for a range of views,” McCluskey and Kim explained. “In this way, journalists appear to have a ‘third-person’ view maintaining objectivity as a professional value. Moderate views, on the other hand, simply are less easy to define as representing a viewpoint than polarized left–right opinions. The large number of articles analyzed points toward an overall trend of balance among ideological extremes.
It’s what’s called a “ding-dong” on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme…
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