CNN’s “middle road” approach to news coverage has caused the network to fall behind its top competitors, conservative Fox News Channel and left-leaning MSNBC, during prime-time hours, the New York Times reported this week.

No wonder so many people think the news is biased — they’re watching it!

Actually, I have no problem with people watching opinionated news coverage as long as they realize that is what they’re watching. I watch some of it myself. But if that is their only source of news, naturally they think everything else is biased, because that is what many pundits say about all straight-news reports that disagree with their points of view.

Unfortunately, those who are quick to blame the newspaper industry’s downfall on liberal bias are ill-informed by biased TV pundits. I wish fixing the newspaper industry’s problems was as simple as telling reporters not to be biased. What many people don’t realize is newspaper reporters are not like the cable television talking heads who read teleprompters and spew opinionated “facts” spun to their liking. Local television reporters typically aren’t like that, either.

Anyway, I learned today the Senate Commerce Committee rescheduled its hearings about the financial problems facing the newspaper industry. They will begin Wednesday, May 6, instead of Thursday. I hope C-SPAN airs the hearings, and I sent an e-mail to the cable network suggesting it do so. Here’s hoping those hearings take an honest, unbiased look at the problem, because biased finger-pointing isn’t going to fix anything.

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I wrote a post earlier this week about the need for newspapers to embrace new media technologies rather than be scared of and reject them. You can find that post by clicking here.