Is the Political News Presented By Media Subjective or Objective?

 

 

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Is the Political News Presented By Media Subjective or Objective?

 

Introduction

 

Is the political news of modern age subjective or objective?  Is it true to life, or is it ‘made-up’?  The answer to the question depends upon which place on earth we are engaging with modern media.  In the United Kingdom, the newspapers generally have loyal political positions, e.g., either right or left.  Media also takes a number of positions on important international issues that concern the UK public at a given time.  Similarly, in the United States, there are Democratic newspapers verses the Republican ones.  It depends upon the leaning of the editors and publishers of the papers, no doubt.  What is more, the rhetoric of the media appears as though it is set to brainwash people rather than allowing them to simply be informed about world events.  After all, the task of the media is to set the truth before the public, either in print, on radio or television.  Many channels of media are nowadays employed in conveying information to us.  The Internet has supplemented the huge demand for newspapers, although it is still correct that there is propaganda all over the place.

How is the individual meant to be informed, then, about the real events behind the drama that is sometimes enacted by the media?  Once again, is the media true to life, or is there a ‘big controversy,’ as American media might point out.  Although the current research is not meant to delve into the ‘controversy,’ it is pertinent to explore whether the political news that is presented by the media is truly objective.

 

Objectives of the Study

 

This study is meant to explore the truth behind news covered by modern media of the United Kingdom.  Is the media democratic?  Or, is it generally controlled by certain political parties or various other entities that have an interest in manipulating people’s free choice?

The author of the study begins with a supposition that the media of today is subjective, or personal, which is to say that it is no more a communicator of real facts to the people.  Rather, subjectivity includes biases.  What could these biases be?  History has shown that biases can range from race to culture, to politics and economic interest.  In this study, we will explore some of the biases that the media has expressed over the past two decades, 1987-2007.  Seeing as the historical aspect of subjectivity in the media is an important fact to explore – almost half of the present research would be devoted to an exploration of the past.  This would allow the researcher to gather historical connections of the media to the royalty as well as the government in the United Kingdom; in addition to its leanings in foreign policy.  Most importantly, it would help to answer the question: Has the media been objective or subjective in conveying political information?

The second half of the paper would be devoted to the modern media.  Is the ‘right’ stronger than the ‘left’ in today’s media?  We will explore the leanings of modern newspapers and other media, and see how many news channels and newspapers, for example, lean in either direction.  The study would explore links between the media and entities that are supported by media men.  Given that there is a time factor and ‘length’ factor involved in the present study, the researcher would not be able to explore all possible links, however.  This is a limitation of the study.  Ultimately, however, this research will answer the question as objectively as possible: Is the media of the UK (historically and in modern times) subjective or objective with respect to politics?

 

 

Methods

 

This research would employ at least 75-100 newspapers, transcripts, programs, channels, and various other kinds of political news pieces to explore the link between truth and fiction in the media.  Without limiting ourselves to the choice of media, we would collect different pieces of political news from a variety of sources, including the Internet, web libraries, and the university library.  These ‘political news pieces’ or news clips collected from many channels would cover the period between 1987-2007.

 

 

Results of the Study

 

After a thorough review of literature, that is, political news between 1987-2007, the study would present an analysis of the subject.  By considering political news of various publishers and channels, etc, it would be possible to answer our principal question.  Moreover, we would be able to understand whether the UK media, in particular, is presenting to us real, solid, political information (that cannot be contradicted) in the news?

As an example, BBC news on the Internet presents as its headline: “US warns Iran over arming Iraqis.”  Is this a real international event, and is it being presented to the UK population correctly?  Is there subjectivity in the news article?  If the news article is a mere media report, and presenting the correct facts, as they happened; it is still true to claim that the report presents the views (in quotations) of the people that it believes are important enough to have a say on BBC.[1]

The BBC website presents UK news in a way that it thinks is important to the UK public especially.  “UK request Lugovoi extradition” and “Denial over Diana crash images” are two of the headlines on a single day, reminding the UK public about royalty, and revealing what BBC wants the public to know about the United Kingdom’s most important events on a given day.[2]

On the same day, the London Evening Standard finds it essential to report (in one of its entertainment guides), “Shambles of Blair Plan for ‘Stop and Question’ Powers.”[3]  Right below the news piece, on the same page, somebody from the UK (public) has written that the government is bad.  Is it because Mr. Blair is about to go?  By employing the word “shambles,” the popular London paper is perhaps exaggerating the point of the news article and intrinsically reminding the public that their Prime Minister of the recent past is ready to say goodbye.  Moreover, it is noteworthy that this analysis might very well lead the researcher into a discussion of political framing in the media.

Interestingly, the BBC has also reported that the Internet is allowing the public to interact too much with the political situation of the United Kingdom; and that the people of the UK tend to take right wing or left wing views according to what they learn off the World Wide Web.  This is leading to a “political crisis,” according to the report.  Seeing that this comment published by the BBC had actually been made by Matthew Taylor, who is the chief advisor of Tony Blair on political strategy – it is easy to comprehend that it is in the interest of Mr. Blair’s strategies that the man is speaking out thus on BBC.  He does not want the PM’s strategies to be abused on the London Evening Standard, for example.  BBC finds it important to convey the man’s message.[4]

Is the media being subjective or objective in the above examples?  It is obvious that the media leans toward the views of those it considers important.  In the article about Iran and Iraq above, it is clear that the UK public is being presented with views and opinions, mainly of the U.S. government.  The documentary, 911 Control Room (Magnolia Pictures), explains the viewpoint of the Arabs that their opinions must be equally presented by the international media.  However, the UK government does not want to encourage the views of the Arab world as opposed to the United States.  This evidently expresses the fact that the UK is the ally of U.S., which happens to be a real fact.  So, although the news was presented with a subjective leaning toward the U.S.; in this case the UK public can understand that it is necessary for world politics to be approached in this manner at the present time.  Although truth may be half-presented, it is still a part of the news.  Finally, it is important to note that such ‘brainwashing,’ as we might call it, might actually serve a fundamental purpose in the affairs of the world.

 

 

Conclusion

 

After analyzing around 50 news pieces from 1987-2000, and 50 more between 2001-2007; this study would answer the question: Is the media subjective or objective?  In this final part of the paper, the author would not only make a final statement on objectivity versus subjectivity, but also discuss the future of the subject of this research.  In what direction should the political future of the media be explored further, and how should the public expect change to come?  The limitations of the study would also be discussed in this section.  The most obvious limitation happens to be that this study is based on subjective analysis rather than objective.  The only quantitative data we would collect is the number of news pieces classified as “objective” versus “subjective” by the author.  As illustrated through the examples above, all news pieces would lead to a thorough discussion in the paper to finally arrive at the conclusion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

BBC News, UK. Available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/default.stm.

 

“Shambles of Blair Plan for ‘Stop and Question’ Powers.” This is London: From the Evening

Standard. Available 28 May 2007, from http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23398256-details/Shambles+of+Blair+plan+for+%27stop+and+question%27+powers/article.do.

 

Wheeler, Brian. “Web ‘fueling crisis’ in politics.” BBC News. Available 28 May 2007, from

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6155932.stm.

 

“US warns Iran over arming Iraqis.”  BBC News.  Available 28 May 2007, from

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6696971.stm.

 

 

 

[1] “US warns Iran over arming Iraqis.”  BBC News.  Available 28 May 2007, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6696971.stm.
[2] BBC News, UK. Please Note: This website refreshes its pages day by day: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/default.stm.
[3] “Shambles of Blair Plan for ‘Stop and Question’ Powers.” This is London: From the Evening

Standard. Available 28 May 2007, from “http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23398256-details/Shambles+of+Blair+plan+for+%27stop+and+question%27+powers/article.do
[4] Brian Wheeler. “Web ‘fueling crisis’ in politics.” BBC News. Available 28 May 2007, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6155932.stm.

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