Unbiased Media:: Possible or Not?

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Biased media continues to be a growing issue. With the many news sources available today, knowing the political views of each media source has never been more important. Consuming a variety media can play as an advantage for you to best detect media bias. How good are you at telling which side a media source usually supports?

Listed below are some examples of bias that I have commonly found in a variety of media sources:

1) Bias by labeling-- Bias by labeling comes in two forms. The first is the tagging of conservative politicians and groups with extreme labels while leaving liberal politicians and groups unlabeled or with more mild labels. The second kind of bias by labeling occurs when a reporter not only fails to identify a liberal as a liberal, but describes the person or group with positive labels, such as "an expert" or "independent consumer group". The power to label politicians, activists and groups is one of the media's most subtle and potent powers.

2) Bias by placement-- Bias by placement can occur with television or radio news. Things such as making a story the lead versus running it 25 minutes into an hour-long newscast. But, it's a lot easier to identify this kind of bias in a newspaper where placing a story on page one versus on the bottom of an inside page makes for a dramatic contrast.

3) Bias by spin-- Bias by spin occurs when the story has only one interpretation of an event or policy. Reports in this case are presented in favor of the particular source to give it prominence.You can see the effect of spin on what a news consumer takes away from a story by comparing how two journalists report the same or similar event

4) Bias by story selection-- A journalist may be biased towards a particular incident and may add his/her personal opinion to the news report. This kind of media bias is purely based on the journalist's own opinion which is not considered to be purely ethical as well.

5) Bias by omission-- A media source many often leave one side out of an article, or a series of articles over a period of time. To find instances of bias by omission, be aware of the conservative and liberal perspectives on current issues. See if the perspective is included in stories on a particular event or policy and pay attention to if the stories or facts change based on the source that you are reading.

It is always important to be aware of these many types of media bias that are around today. To be a smart consumer means to do your research. Be sure to check up facts that you read online and don't always believe everything that you read. Often times the media will have an agenda to make you believe that one thing happened over the other. Make sure you are aware of this and don't get sucked into the media's trap.

Source: http://www.fairpress.org/identify.htm

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This page contains a single entry by Rebecca Blomquest published on November 27, 2012 2:34 PM.

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