22 December 2008

Are milblogs biased?

One of the main complaints that I've often leveled at the main-stream media is that they are biased: negative stories, against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, liberal, etc. When we toured the CNN studios several weeks ago, we asked the executives about this perception of bias. They danced around the accusations of liberal- and conservative-bias. One did admit that they are biased toward conflict by discussing the elements of a good television news story. The best stories are the ones with dramatic footage of something out-of-the-ordinary happening. The best stories are about topics that are somewhat controversial or, at least, unusual. The best stories are the ones that engage people - they excite emotions in some way.

Similar elements could be listed about what makes the best milblog post, the post that gets the most interest and readership. These stories appear to be the ones with the most personal elements - a dramatic telling of a patrol from an infantryman's perspective, a memorial post to a fallen comrade, or the joy of returning home. Many of the most popular milblogs also include photos or videos that add to the emotional content of the post. But are these posts biased? Do most milbloggers write because they're against the wars and have found blogging as an outlet? Or are most milbloggers pro-military and pro-war and seek to use their blogs to balance what we percieve as the negatively-biased main-stream media with positive blog entries? That's the subject of the current poll (look to the top right of this webpage). Please weigh in with your opinion about any bias you percieve from milblogs you read. Thanks!

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