Why the British media are so much better than ours

Actually, the British media are both better and worse than ours. Their tabloids have headlines more hysterical than anything you’ll find in ours. But then, Brits tend to realize that and discount accordingly.

But overall in Britain you’re much more likely to find issues covered fairly that are either terribly unfairly covered here or essentially ignored. Why?

Basically the U.S. produces one newspaper with lots of different names. And they all pretend to unbiased. But the result of that is merely to camouflage their bias in little ways such as writing “one reporter observed” instead of “I observed.” Instead of flatly saying something themselves, our reporters just track somebody down to quote who will say it for them. If your first interview doesn’t give you the desired results, you conduct another.

Further, it’s an unwritten rule here that except in the most extreme of circumstances you never criticize another reporter’s work. After all, you’re all on the same team. Meanwhile in the UK papers are openly conservative or liberal and hence in open competition with each other. This openness gives readers an added bonus in that they know that if they want both sides of a story they have to buy at least two different newspapers.

But here you can buy the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and so on and just get slightly different versions of the same misreported item. A major item that should be in all three is absent from all three. This groupthink explains how I can constantly be among the few published journalists in the country to be correct on a major issue, notwithstanding many hundreds of other journalist writing on that same issue.

There’s no magic to it; just stay outside the herd.