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Old 05-20-2005   #1
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Google News Unbiased When Blogs Left Out?

Brad Hill posts an entry in his blog this morning that is named "Thesis Study: Google News Is Unbiased (IF You Leave Out the Blogs)".

Brad linked to Eric Ulken's Masters thesis named Non-traditional sources cloud Google News results.

Quote:
Ulken concluded that both news services are unbiased—if the “nontraditional sources” (like blogs) are removed from Google News. Google apparently includes more of these nontraditional sources than Yahoo! does, and they skew Google’s bias in both directions. Remove those sources, and Google settles down into a tighter zone of neutrality that is virtually identical to Yahoo!’s.
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Old 05-20-2005   #2
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uh, so when is "traditional" news unbiased? Blogs are certainly much more blatantly so, but at least they admit it whereases traditional news sources include hidden commentary into the news items.
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Old 05-21-2005   #3
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I really do not buy the unbiased news one bit.

- humans make the stories. they are going to be biased because we all are.
- humans who rate how biased a story are will also be biased individuals. we all are.
- algorithms are wrote by people who are biased by their own experiences.
- algorithms which rely on linkage data will skew in both directions while giving less coverage to most stuff in the middle.
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Old 05-21-2005   #4
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some things are just wrong. How should the news media handle a holocaust story? Report what the neo-nazis say and what the rest of the world says?

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Originally Posted by St0n3y
uh, so when is "traditional" news unbiased? Blogs are certainly much more blatantly so, but at least they admit it whereases traditional news sources include hidden commentary into the news items.
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Old 05-21-2005   #5
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some things are just wrong. How should the news media handle a holocaust story? Report what the neo-nazis say and what the rest of the world says?
I don't know what that means. My comments were in regard to the original post about the news being unbiased when blogs were removed. My point was that traditional news sources can be just as biased as blogs, but in a more stealth manner. Dan Rather won't come out and say that he tilts his stories to the left, but some recently forged documents reported as facts tell a different story. Blogs, on the other hand, don't mind admitting their bias. That doesn't make either more or less correct on an overall percentage scale since both have biases in either direction.
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Old 05-23-2005   #6
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I reviewed the study over here and found that one reason why Google seemed to have more "non-traditional" sources was due to the fact the study may not have factored in Google's clustering properly.

As for bias, the study specifically looked at whether stories were favorable or not to Bush and Kerry. With Google, it found mainly not that it was leaning any particular direction but that along with showing lots of "balanced" stories, it also showed extremes on the spectrum. Which if you think about it, is kind of balanced.
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Old 05-23-2005   #7
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Certainly, showing bias does not necessarily require imbalance, as long as you balance the bias.
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Old 05-23-2005   #8
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The problem is more with the major news outlets and coverage than with the service feeding them (Google, Yahoo!, whoever).

There was a time (not long ago) when news outlets reported the news, then told the reader/viewership what was true and false. Those times are ending, and more and more I see news as a format for entertainment and the pushing of press releases by the multiple sides of any argument.

If you ever watch or read Canadian news, you'll be shocked at how much of the content is vetted. No speech goes on without a critical view from the reporters who actually tell you which parts of the speech are BS.

It's hard for me to accept that Google is deserving of too much of the criticism in these type of cases. Stories from major news organizations can 'lean' one way or another, but you shouldn't ever be seeing the truly biased news that is so commonplace today. That type of "news" should really be called "editorial" or "opinion" journalism...
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Old 06-07-2005   #9
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Measuring holes in the top stories on Google News and Yahoo News

The Online Journalism Review (OJR) article by Eric Ulken is based on a study that has two fundamental flaws. First, it assumes that a random sample of the top five stories for John Kerry or George W. Bush will give you the same findings as a random sample of all stories in Google News or Yahoo News. Second, it assumes that Google News and Yahoo News use the same algorithms, so any differences by come from a different mix of traditional and non-traditional sources. You can read a more detailed take on the article at http://newsblog.seo-pr.com/public/item/91810 -- which doesn't dispute Ulken's findings, but does explain the impact of using “relevance” versus “recency” to determine the ranking of news stories. As for "bias", do you think that a few folks at the OJR have a thing against "non-traditional" sources?
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Old 06-22-2011   #10
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Re: Google News Unbiased When Blogs Left Out?

Is Google News unbiased? they need to worry about anti-trust
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