TAUBMAN: A tarnished ideal
The Cavalier Daily, contrary to Broom's view, features bias in its reporting
Public Editor Chris Broom has gone to great lengths to defend the Cavalier Daily and himself from accusations of bias. His Monday column, “Unstacking the Cards,” was a masterful piece of spin. The most outlandish statement was “The Cavalier Daily does not contain bias in its news writing.” The myth of unbiased reporting is absurd. It represents an ideal, one that papers supposedly unaffiliated with partisan views must strive to maintain.
The email Mr. Broom cited in his piece expressing concern with a “partisan bent” was mine. I noted four examples of bias in our exchange. Mr. Broom used the common tool of selection bias to highlight only one, the weakest in my opinion. The Cavalier Daily had reported on an LGBTQ-related panel, but did not even hint that the panel was one-sided. A minor issue compared to the example of bias I noted as “most egregious” in my email.
The Cavalier Daily pulled out all the stops for “An Inside Look at Living Wage U.Va.” Not only was this attempt at a heart-rending video set to schmaltzy music, it ended asking “So what can you do?” Its swift answer was the Living Wage’s website. I join Mr. Broom’s September 22 request for readers to check out the video, but not with his statement that the advertisement is “worth viewing.” While bias will always exist, allowing it to get this out of hand and refusing to recognize it are a disservice to this paper.
Joel Taubman is a 2013 graduate of the Engineering School.