November 15, 2012

The pressure to be “balanced” is probably the worst trait of the press in any industry. Journalists rarely take a hard stance on anything and instead give opposing viewpoints equal time and credibility even if they aren’t equal, all in the name of balance. The reason that the press is petrified of objectivity is because they will be called out as biased simply for reporting the truth.

Sticking to a single example that irritates me to no end is the outright refusal of the press to be fair to Apple particularly in the tablet field. Statistics show that around 90% of tablet traffic on the web comes from iPads and I expect that to do nothing but grow. What that means is that the majority of non-iPad tablet users don’t really use their tablets.

Call me biased if you want, but at present iPads are the only relevant tablets in the world. Yet IGN publishes articles like 8 Reasons Gamers Should Own A Tablet completely ignoring the elephant in the room. Replace the word “Tablet” in the headline with “iPad” and the article becomes honest.

Unfortunately publications will never do something of that nature because a very vocal minority of angry commenters — and maybe even competing publications — will yell as loudly as possible. The fact that people who live in their own little bubble or have an agenda have commandeered objectivity among almost every news outlet is pathetic and sad. Every headline is dumbed down and maybe even misleading, and it’s stunning that we put up with it.

The whole saying “tablet” instead of “iPad” thing might not seem like a huge deal, but it’s telling of how stuff in general is reported. As I see a ton of iPads day over day on the bus or at Starbucks, and usually don’t see any competing tablets, I have to wonder why the press doesn’t just call a spade a spade. There isn’t a tablet market, there’s an iPad market. It’s the same as the iPod.

If IGN were an objective publication, its article would be titled 8 Reasons Gamers Should Own An iPad, and put up with the angry commenters who have no life outside of their imaginary reality. Unfortunately IGN — like most publications or news organizations across most topics/industries — won’t ever write headlines which reflect the real world.

“Balance” is overrated. By the way, check out the following video:

(Can you imagine the stuff that the vocal minority would be saying about me if I had comments enabled? Scary thought.)

See you tomorrow.

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