Every news agency, irrespective of how neutral it is, will always have the tendency to shape the public opinion. Especially the mainstream media and its cohorts. With a bottom line to meet, their primary purpose is no longer to report news but to divert and guide the public opinion to attract readers and advertisers. Neutrality is no longer the norm but a pseudo-name to foreshadow how much each media outlet is involved in shaping the public opinion. Take the New York Times, for example, in its heavily skewed facts and report of China, its purpose is no longer to report the truth but to sale and indoctrinate misinformation to the worldwide audience, i.e., the American public, on the every mistake which the Chinese government, i.e., the C.P.C., has undertaken or is about to take, often with the violation of human rights as the pretext. Such that a laymen reader like me would be in aghast and detest on the every move which the C.P.C. would otherwise make, and perceive them as a threat and potential competitor against the U.S. government and American public in a world of limited resources. In its recent publication on China's dealing on Iraqi oil, the New York Times stated on how China's dealings would undermine the very national unity of Iraq, yet it has failed to address the intention of multinational oil conglomerates, usually of western origin, to exploit and rip-off Iraqi's most precious natural resource, as reported in my earlier posting (I no longer track this issue, but I believe the U.S. occupation of Iraq by the has probably allowed that to happen).
Irrespective of its nationality, the reports of the mainstream media must be read with care. The reader must know the media is there to shape the public opinion, and often it goes great distance to realize that.