The purpose of Cannabias is to make cannabis-related reporting better.
As legalization reforms spread throughout the U.S. and the world there is a need to shift paradigms and educate reporters on not just what they can do better but how.
Too often, news organizations rely on negative stereotypes, worn out tropes, and prohibitionist-era narratives and it is the goal of Cannabias to enlighten news organizations, their reporters, and news consumers as to how the media ecosystem can reform along with laws and culture.
As the editor of Cannabias, it is my goal to bring an academic perspective to the “media watchdog” sphere. My graduate work focused on media bias and, in my role as an educator, I have taught undergraduate students how to, objectively, analyze news stories for bias using social science modalities. Through this lens, I hope to illuminate structural issues and subjective reporting related to cannabis in an effort to normalize cannabis and end the stigma apparent in mainstream news reporting.
Unlike partisan media “watchdog” organizations, we will look at the real identifiable biases that reporters and news organizations employ when covering cannabis culture and the emerging industry. We will accomplish this goal by using proven models for analyzing media bias, defining our terms, and offering solutions as to how the organization and/or reporter could do better. We believe in the self-righting principle of John Milton: truth will win over untruth, and that people will make good decisions when they are given accurate information.
“Truth is strong next to the Almighty. … Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the Earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple, whoever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter?”
With Cannabias, our mission is to offer solutions, rather than deride. To correct the record and educate journalists and consumers alike. While we may never end bias in cannabis coverage, our goal is to diminish the impact of biased reporting whenever possible.