Journalists Hold Symposium on Media Bias... Only Invite Journalists

Near the farmhouse, the foxes will hold a panel discussion on the phenomena of hens going missing from the henhouse.

This Aesop-like fable will be played out next week on Oct. 17 at the National Press Club in Washington, when the Michigan State University school of journalism holds a "media bias symposium."

The event is also sponsored by the Newseum, the Poynter Institute, and the National Press Club.

The list of attendees:

"More than a dozen journalists from media outlets including CNN, the Chicago Tribune and USA Today will be participating in the panels. MSU alumni Karen Brown Dunlap, a 1971 journalism graduate, president of the Poynter Institute; and Susan Goldberg, a 1984 journalism graduate, executive editor of the San Jose Mercury News, will be panelists. The keynote luncheon address will be presented by Sam Donaldson of 'ABC News.'"

Says Jane Briggs-Bunting, director of the School of Journalism at MSU, "We will be having a frank discussion about the areas where media bias exists, how it can sneak into stories and images, and the challenges in today’s world where everyone has the ability to publish online.”

No non-journalists were invited, which means the findings of the symposium can be announced a week in advance: There is no bias, and bias is in the eye of the beholder.

The keynote speaker, Sam Donaldson, has delivered his "no media bias" message many times. Each year he speaks on behalf of journalists during the Conservative Political Action Conference's annual "Great Media Bias Debate." Last year Donaldson's opponent was Bob Novak.

But on Oct. 17, Donaldson won't have an opponent. He will be patted on the back for having a good read on the facts and a sensible message.