Media Bias in News Reporting

6 June 2017

Media bias in the reporting of the news is pervasive – it is present in every form of media and every style of reporting, no matter how non-biased one platform or outlet may claim to be. This is because of agenda-setting: the ability that the news has to tell the consumer which issues are important. Media of all kinds assert their agenda by many means.

In a newspaper, the story on the front page is deemed to be of most importance; on a nightly news show, the story at the top of the hour is highlighted as most important, or labeled “breaking news” to signal that the viewer should pay ttention; on an online setting, the links to stories at the top of the page signal the consumer that these are newest and of most concern to them. Every media outlet has methods of agenda-setting that have been meticulously cultivated since the inception of mass media over a century ago. There are many forms of bias that show up in the media, and there are many reasons why these biases happen.

Media Bias in News Reporting Essay Example

According to Studentnewsdaily. com Bias by omission is when the author intentionally leaves out facts that support the other side of an argument presented in an article. This bias can happen over the short term (for xample, an article on CNN that rips apart Obamacare by systematically pin-pointing how this system will attempt to under-cut conservative interests, such as private- sector health insurance providers); or, this bias can occur over long-term (for example, Fox News has become a haven for conservative viewpoints because, over time, this media hub has systematically omitted the liberal voice in the majority of the stories it reports).

Another form of bias is inherent in the selection of sources to support a specific viewpoint in a news story. An example of this is when a newspaper uns a story about abortion and backs up its assumptions by testimony from “experts” who already subscribe to a school of thought that is either anti- or pro- abortion. The author simply references more “experts” who share the same point of view about an issue, therefore implying in that those in the know all feel this way about a topic like abortion. Another form of bias is story selection.

This form is most obvious in media outlets that openly subscribe to a certain affiliation, be it republican or democrat. MSNBC may choose to run with a story at the top of their news show bout Joe Biden visiting a church in a poor, rural town in Alabama and reaching out to the locals about how they won’t be left behind by the current administration, while Fox News may not even air the story at all. MSNBC frames the story as very important by selecting to air it at the top of their reports; Fox News, on the other hand, chooses to not air the story at all, framing it as unimportant and not news-worthy.

Another form of bias, referenced already, is story placement. Each incarnation of mass media has a different, but equally powerful, way of placing a story in a certain way to make t feel more important. Newspapers may print a story they deem most important to their values on the front page, or give the story more body than others. Live news coverage than to less important stories. Another form of bias is labeling. A conservative news outlet may label the president as “far left” or “ultra-liberal” as opposed to “democrat. A more liberal news outlet may label Bill O’Reilly as “radical” or “far-right” as opposed to “republican. ” A polling organization that caters to republican ideals may show up on Fox News as “experts,” while on MSNBC they will e labeled a “radical organization. ” The last form of bias is perhaps the most notorious in the news industry – spin. Spin occurs when a story is presented with a certain tone that determines how the audience interprets it. It involves “subjective comments about objective facts. ” For example, Bill Maher and Jon Stewart have made their careers on satirically spinning the news with a liberal voice.

In their famous study of agenda-setting, McCombs and Shaw (1968) came to the conclusion that “1) the press and the media do not reflect reality; they filter and hape it;” and, “2) media concentrations on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues. ” Through rigorous content-analysis and interviews with the public, McCombs and Shaw formulated that specific communities viewed certain issues as more important in a presidential elections than other communities, and these views were directly correlated to the media consumption of that particular community.

For example, a more urban and racially diverse community may see the creation of Jobs as most important, because hat is what their news outlets choose to highlight as the main issue by using the methods of bias described above. In a more rural community, other issues are deemed as most important, such as a candidate subscribing to a pro-life point of view, or an anti-immigration platform.

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