What is Pro-Growth Bias?

Pro-Growth Bias is reflected in the media by the stories and words chosen, which hint and often trumpet that economic, population, and consumption growth is good and essential. We're here to expose the bias and encourage more balanced and thoughtful journalism. Here you can vote, discuss, and even post stories exemplifying the bias.

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Red Lights Flashing for Global Economy What is the emergency? Sure enough, we are worried about slowing economic growth. AP reporter Danica Kirka filed this story summarizing the state of the world’s economies. The headline actually was suggested by an opinion piece in the UK Guardian written by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Cameron had left the most recent G20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia, with serious concerns. Serious enough to flip on the flashing red warning lights on his batmobile, or whatever it is he travels in while racing about to get the world’s economies back into planet liquidation mode. The G20 leaders promised to do their part: “…the...
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Proliferating People a Mere Nuisance to Colorado Water Plans A headline like this begs for a spot on the Growth Bias Busted Wall of Shame: Colorado Girds for Proliferating People and Increasingly Scarce Water Why wouldn’t I be celebrating coverage of the challenges presented by population growth? It’s simple. This story treats population growth as inevitable, and does not include in its water-scarcity responses doing something about the population – like stabilizing or contracting it (it’s actually not that difficult).  I’m afraid Denver Post reporter Bruce Finley has fallen into the same trap that snares 96% of journalists. This report is stuck inside the box defined by a set of...
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Scientists: No Joy in Quest for Quickie A nod to Joe Bish at the Population Media Center for pointing out to us the deluge of media coverage over the past few days regarding an interesting study just published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. I started out with the intention of putting all the news coverage on the Wall of Shame today, for zeroing in on a sensational statement that made an easy headline: "Our work reveals that effective family planning and reproduction education worldwide have great potential to constrain the size of the human population and alleviate pressure on resource availability over the longer term….Our...
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Death-Cab for Singapore Singapore’s Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) adorns our Wall of Shame this morning for demonstrating it is completely clueless about the value of calculating ecological footprint, and certainly about the meaning of the word "sustainabiity." In a news release last week the Ministry defended its poor ranking in WWF’s recently released 2014 Living Planet Report. The report ranked Singapore 7th highest global footprint per capita (the U.S. ranked 8th). This apparently rankled the bureaucrats at MEWR. On October 7 an editorial in The Real Singapore underscored the unsustainability of Singapore’s footprint. The headline alone hurt MEWR’s feelings: WWF: IF EVERYONE...
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Oh, the Woes of Global Growth! Global Growth Woes Threaten to Beset U.S. Economy. This Wall Street Journal report earns a spot on the Wall of Shame as a textbook example of pro-growth bias in the media. It’s evident writers Josh Zumbrun and Nick Timiraos were suckled on the Kool-Aid of growth worship: “The specter of deflation in Europe and a slowdown in China and other emerging markets are threatening to hobble the U.S. economy at a time when the world could use a reliable growth engine.” It’s easy to think the world needs a “growth engine” when you don’t slow down and consider what year-over-year economic...
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Drastically Declining Critical Thought in Population Reporting Last week at Growth Bias Busted was all about economic growth. It’s apparently time to turn to population growth, as the Korea JoongAng Daily got my attention with, Drastically Declining Birthrate Raises Serious Fears, a ridiculous example of “birth-dearth” fear mongering posing as a news story. “Unless Korea’s birthrate starts to increase, the population could be no more by 2750.” Reporter Ser Myo-ja was probably pressed for time, so no critical thought went into this story, and a lifetime of pro-growth programming produced this: “That prediction may sound slightly exaggerated, perhaps even fictional, but signs of a bleak future for the...
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