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Ground News

Blindspot Report

Week of December 16-22

The weekly Blindspot Report from Ground News puts a spotlight on news that publications from one side of the political spectrum or the other had little to no reporting on.

If your politics lean right, you likely didn't hear that twice as many journalists were murdered this year compared to the last. And if your politics bend to the left, you probably didn’t hear that buried in the 5,593-page COVID-19 relief bill, the US Congress passed a new article reaffirming Tibetan rights and infuriating China.

This Week's Blindspots

Blindspot for the Right:

Murders of journalists more than double worldwide Retaliatory killings of journalists worldwide rose significantly in 2020 from the previous year, but deaths covering war dropped sharply, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported. 21 journalists worldwide were singled out for murder in reprisal for their work this year, compared to 10 in 2019. The most frequest suspected killers of journalists this year were criminal groups. (Photo credit: AFP) Coverage Distribution: 0% Right Left 75% 25% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Blindspot for the Left:

US Congress passes new Tibet law on the next Dalai Lama; infuriates China US Congress on Tuesday passed new legislation that reaffirms the rights of Tibetans to choose a successor to their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, a move that infuriated China. China has said its leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama’s successor, which many see as a coercive attempt to control Tibet, where ethnic Tibetans make up about 90% of the population. Coverage Distribution: 18% Left 18% Center 29% Right 53% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Blindspot for the Right:

Barr Says Russia Appears to Be Behind SolarWinds Hack, After Trump Points to China US Attorney General William Barr has said he supports intelligence assessments that Russia is behind the massive cyber-espionage operation against the US that Donald Trump has previously blamed on China. Several US government agencies are investigating and the Commerce Department has acknowledged it had been hit by a data breach after Reuters first reported that sophisticated hackers compromised the agency through a third-party software vendor known as SolarWinds. Coverage Distribution: 19% Right Left 50% Center 31% 19% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Blindspot for the Left:

Pelosi Claims some ‘Faith-Oriented’ Lawmakers Say They ‘Don’t Believe In Science’ US Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy said on Monday that the Trump administration pursued a “herd immunity” strategy for containing the coronavirus out of a misguided belief in “quackery” over scientific evidence in fighting the coronavirus, and claimed that “faith-oriented” people have told her they "don’t believe in science." Her comments came with the context of the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines. Pelosi said “our prayers have been answered with a vaccine.” Coverage Distribution: 7% Left 7 Right 93% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Blindspot for the Right:

Ten years on, anger grows in Tunisian town where 'Arab Spring' began A new poll by Guardian and YouGov suggests majority in nine countries across the Arab world feel inequality has increased. A majority feel they are living in significantly more unequal societies today than before the Arab spring, an era of uprisings, civil wars and unsteady progress towards self-determination that commenced a decade ago. Coverage Distribution: 17% Right Left 50% Center 33% 17% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Blindspot for the Left:

Farmers’ unions in India to stage 24-hr relay hunger strike The farmers’ leaders, who are protesting three newly introduced agriculture privatization laws, refused to budge and said they would intensify their stir if their demands are not immediately met. “We are going on a 24-hour relay hunger strike, skipping meals, to press our demands of repealing three agricultural laws,” Yogendra Yadav, a prominent protest leader, said. More than 30 protesters have died in recent weeks, mainly due to the cold as thousands have slept in the open for the last three weeks with temperatures falling to 39 degree Fahrenheit/ 4 degree Celsius. Coverage Distribution: 25% Left Left 25% 12% Right 63% 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Something we'd like to recommend this week again:

Non-partisan political news that isn't boring (From Tangle) Tangle is an independent, ad-free, non-partisan newsletter that summarizes the best arguments from across the political spectrum. The newsletter is curated by a professional politics reporter who shares feedback from readers and criticisms of the arguments in every newsletter. 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

All your news in a 5-minute email (From 1440) Check out 1440 — the fastest way to an impartial point of view on the news of the day. The team of PhDs and industry experts at 1440 scour over 100 news sources, ranging from culture and science to sports and politics, to create one email that gets you caught up on the day’s events in five minutes. It’s independent and 100% free; sign up for 1440 here. 3c262c56-7d31-4ef4-9c8c-6a18c7541ae1.png

Split Reporting

Highlighting discrepancies between the reporting on stories across different news outlets. This week's story:

Far-right protesters storm Oregon Capitol calling for end of COVID-19 restrictions
3b949398-b5f9-4508-847d-f796c94e81f8.jpg

What do the different news outlets focus on when reporting on this story?

Gateway Pundit: Patriots Storm Oregon Capitol As Legislature Meets In Secret, Public Excluded, Police Protect Corrupt Politicians

RedState: Patriot Prayer, Others Push Their Way Into Oregon State Capitol After State Legislators Hold Meeting Without Letting Public In

New York Post: Anti-lockdown protestors kick in door at Oregon statehouse

USA Today: Protesters clash with police , smash glass doors, disrupt lawmakers on 'unnerving' day at Oregon State Capitol in Salem

LA Times: Gun-toting far-right protesters try to force their way into Oregon's Capitol

Raw Story: 'Get a rope!' Armed extremists clash with police while trying to overrun Oregon State Capitol

Oregon State Police (via Twitter): Today, while dealing with individuals that had gained entry into the Oregon State Capitol, OSP Troopers where sprayed with some kind of chemical agent on 2 different occasions

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Methodology

Ground News processes over 30,000 news articles each day. Articles from different news outlets covering the same news event are merged into a single story so subscribers can get all the perspectives in one view. Each article is labeled one of seven bias ratings (Far Left, Left, Leans Left, Center, Leans Right, Right, Far Right) based on the average bias rating of the publishing news outlet. All news outlet bias ratings are originally sourced from three non-profit news monitoring agencies (AllSides, Media Bias Fact Check, Ad Fontes Media).

The Blindspot Report is generated by evaluating the mean and standard deviation of the aggregate bias ratings of the week's top 100 (most covered and most read) stories. News stories with the greatest mean score (many more Right outlets than Left or vice versa) or the highest standard deviation of bias ratings (more coverage on fringes than Center) are selected for the Report.

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