The news media has a crucial s…
The news media has a crucial societal role in providing information to the public. Citizens rely upon this information to make informed judgments and decisions. (Censorship by Media Conglomerates Threatens Democracy) However, the news media is widely viewed as biased. Bias is prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. When related to media, the term “media bias” is used to refer to the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of events and stories that are reported and how they are covered. There are many forms of bias.
Bias could be shown through selection of stories or features, resulting in one side of a story receiving more unnecessary attention. It could be shown through an absence, or omission, of certain sides of a story, also reverting attention to one side of a story. It could be ideological, where people present stories that support a specific world view. It could also be partisan, such as when a political bias is injected into a journalistic reporting, in programming selection, or in some other form of mass communications. Other forms of bias include reporting that favors or is against a particular religion, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnic group, or person. However, there exists a major controversy over whether or not this liberal media bias actually exists. I believe that liberal bias is in the mainstream media and that there is evidence to verify such a claim.
This bias can be seen in many different ways. Media bias has an assortment of sources. It is possible that the bias reflects the world view of the owner of the media outlet. However, in the United States, big corporations own most major news organizations, and the goal of these markets is to maximize profits rather than pursue personal views. This would cause the news organizations to bias their stories to fit the demands of the audience. This is a possible incentive for a news organization to tailor their stories to a particular audience. Mark Crispin Miller, a media critic, argues that the interests of the public in a political debate and serious journalism are being compromised by corporations more interested in “making money than in informing the populace”.
(Media Monopolies Are a Serious Problem) But firstly, to argue that the liberal mainstream media is biased, one must first prove that the mainstream media is indeed liberal. According to the article, “Liberal Media Bias Is Not a Myth,” opinion surveys found that 80% to 90% of the national press voted for the Democrat Party in both the Nixon/McGovern and Reagan/Mondale presidential elections, even though both Nixon and Reagan carried 49 states. In 1992, a study showed that 91% of the media members who were interviewed said that they had voted for the Democratic presidential candidate. (Wilson) By major contrast, only 43% of the public had voted for the Democratic Party that year. Also, it has been found that even the public believes that members of the media are liberals. A 2003 Gallup Poll found that 45% of Americans believe the media is “too liberal”. (Wilson) In summary, all the data points to a liberal mainstream media.
In the United States, the journalistic philosophy in many media documents is that the press should remain neutral and objective when reporting the news, not biased and subjective. However, it can also be argued that at root, media quality is a subjective matter. (Media Consolidation Does Not Threaten Free Speech) The question is then raised: Do the beliefs of the national media affect how they report the news? Is the media doing what is best for the public interest? Media devoted to the public interest would investigate “the poor performance by the CIA, the FBI, the FAA, and the CDC” in order to improve those agencies for our protection. However, news teams have failed to look into these issues. (Media Monopolies Are a Serious Problem) Unbalanced reporting, or coverage adding emphasis on issues on which a party is viewed as strong by the voters can create partisan bias. Studies have found that all three major networks, PBS, NPR, and mostly all major U.S.
papers constitute the liberal press and have been found to have unbalanced reporting. Among these are the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. (Liberal Media Bias Is Not a Myth). To further solidify the argument that these news organizations lean to the liberal side of things, it was revealed that in 2008, the Democratic Party received a total donation of $1,020,816 by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks, while the Republican Party received only $142,863. Lastly, when the GDP increased by 2.0 in Obama’s 3rd quarter, he was praised by the New York Times. However, going back to the same October of 1992, Bush’s 2.7 GDP growth was said to be disappointing.