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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Destruction of Planet Humming Along The Associated Press (AP) maintains its status as most shamed news organization at Growth Bias Busted, with this report on the U.S. Commerce Department’s revised estimate of 3rd quarter GDP growth. While the AP didn’t write this headline, my local paper telegraphed the pro-growth bias within: U.S. Economy Humming Along Newsrooms will put this kind of positive headline spin on stories about robust economic growth as long as the reporters keep turning in work that assumes economic growth is good news. Isn’t it good news? That’s what most readers would ask, because they are being fed a steady diet of pro-growth spin:...
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Population Needed to Drive Economy…off a Cliff Massey University and Westpac (a huge bank) are holding two forums this week on population trends in New Zealand. Seems like a good idea, so why is this on the Wall of Shame? Maybe the breakfast forums will offer a more thoughtful approach to population and its role in achieving sustainable equilibrium, but this news announcement from Massey University presents an uninformed perspective: “It’s more than four decades since the last major national activity focused on how we want our population to grow….” That’s a quote from forum participant, Massey Professor Paul Spoonley, who “says a new government population policy is long...
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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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