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Media Bias


Bias: prejudice, preference that ... Headlines vs. stories. Do they match? ... that hurts someone's character, including pictures and anything not spoken ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Media Bias

Media Bias
  • Is Your News Fair and Balanced?

What is bias?
  • Bias
  • Objectivity
  • News
  • Editorial

What is bias?
  • Bias prejudice, preference that prevents
    impartial judgment
  • Objectivity not being influenced by personal
  • News report of recent events
  • Editorial article that presents the opinion of
    an editor or publisher

Is bias really real?
  • In nearly half a century in the news business, I
    have never known a political writer, for example,
    who was 'indifferent' to the outcome of a
    presidential election. --Richard Harwood,
    The Washington Post
  • You are not 'entitled' to a letter to the
    editor, to an op-ed piece or even to a paid
    advertisement if we don't like it, we don't
    print it. Richard Harwood

Is bias really real?
  • We don't sit around in dark corners and plan
    strategies on how we're going to slant the news.
    We don't have to. It comes naturally to most
    reporters." Bernard Goldberg, CBS News

Is bias really real?
  • How would you characterize your political
  • 22 Liberal 39 Liberal to Moderate 30
    Moderate 7 Moderate to Conservative 2

Is bias really real?
  • Did you vote for Bill Clinton, George Bush, Ross
    Perot, or some other candidate?
  • 89 Bill Clinton 7 George Bush 2 Ross Perot
    2 Other

How can I recognize bias?
  • Sources
  • Who is interviewed?
  • Where do sources work and what do they do?
  • Government sources will often speak in favor of
  • Diversity
  • Are all the interviewers and sources alike?
  • Is there only one different source or
  • Minorities and women often have different
    perspectives than males/whites.

How can I recognize bias?
  • Point-of-view
  • Are the people whom the issue affects accurately
    involved in discussing it?
  • Are politicians or business people discussing
    something that doesnt affect them?
  • All-white, all-male groups are often interviewed
    about issues affecting minorities or women

How can I recognize bias?
  • Double standards and stereotypes
  • Are people who commit crimes seen differently
    based on race or gender?
  • Does the media play into racial or gender
  • White collar criminals are often seen
    sympathetically, while teenaged criminals are
    often seen as a scourge

How can I recognize bias?
  • Unchallenged assumptions
  • What is left out of the story?
  • What factors are made more important?
  • Coverage of criminal trials can often focus on
    details that dont affect the case
  • Language
  • Is the language loaded?
  • Affirmative action (70) vs. racial preference
    programs (46)

How can I recognize bias?
  • Context
  • Are all the facts given?
  • What is the background of the story being
  • Coverage of increasing violent crime in an area
    sometimes leaves out an increase in poverty
  • Headlines vs. stories
  • Do they match?
  • Thatcher Salute to Reagan Years contained the
    quote, Poor dear, theres nothing between his

How can I recognize bias?
  • Placement and coverage
  • Which stories are first on the news or in the
  • Which stories sit on the back page or are buried
    later in the news?
  • How much time or space is devoted to each story?
  • The Gentry paper ran a front page story on a
    goat-raising girl with coverage of the civil war
    in Serbia on the back page

What can I do about bias?
  • Do your research
  • Use multiple sources
  • Look for multiple points of view
  • Check sources
  • If you dont know the person interviewed, look
    them up
  • Look for diversity in sources

What can I do about bias?
  • Pay attention to all the stories
  • Sometimes important things are buried
  • Sometimes two stories can be reported differently
    by different agenciesread them both
  • Think, think, think
  • Dont just assume what you read is correct
  • Use common sense

What can I do about bias?
  • Protest
  • Write a letter or an email
  • Let others know about unfair media

Ethical concerns
  • Slander spoken untrue accusation that hurts
    someones character
  • Libel written untrue accusation that hurts
    someones character, including pictures and
    anything not spoken