Bias, according to one dictionary definition, is “a preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgement”.
In Australian political commentary in an election year, bias is rampant — which is exactly as it should be.
Bias is right. Bias is good. Bias is everywhere. The only problem about bias is when it becomes an excuse for blind irrationality and blatant inaccuracy, which often happens at the frothing extremes of both sides of the fence in Australian political commentary (you know who we mean).
Today, in Crikey, we’re launching a full week’s series that attempts to shed light on political bias in the Australian media. It’s called the Crikey Bias-o-meter and over coming days we’ll be evaluating the commentators (today), the newspapers (tomorrow), the Canberra press gallery (Wednesday), blogs and magazines (Thursday) and radio shock jocks and TV commentators (Friday).
Each category of commentator and newspaper — almost a hundred in all — will be analysed for their bias, and placed on the handy Crikey Bias-o-meter for handy consumer reference at times of political frenzy and fog.
But as you pore over the Bias-o-meter and its findings, there’s an obvious disclaimer: We’re biased.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.