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Media Biases Essay

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    When it comes to politics, getting information from media outlets isn’t the best form of research due to biases that media platforms hold. Media biases impact how many Americans feel about politics and can even shape peoples political views. People depend on the media to report accurate information, especially the news. However, media sources are able to report the information they wish to and can withhold any information they chose to as well. This has caused the public to lose trust in the media. While it isn’t always obvious, each media source uses some kind of bias whether they are being more biased towards liberals, conservatives or even both political parties depending on which source an individual chooses to use.

    Whether or not a media source is being biased against liberals or conservatives depends mostly on which source a person is using. According to washingtonpost.com, Fox News relates more to conservatives, while CNN’s audience is mostly liberal. The site also claims that broadcast stations such as NBC, CBS, and ABC “have a more middle-of-the-road audience than other mainstream media outlets.” It is important for Americans to understand which media sites are biased towards which political group, so that they can chose which site meets their preferences. People who are conservatives most likely wouldn’t chose to consistently tune in to CNN’s network. Whereas someone who’s new to politics might tune into ABC so they can get a point of view from the middle ground. Choosing a certain news outlet also effects how news will be delivered to the individuals watching. For example, when President Trump decided to build the wall, you might have seen an article from a liberal site that might have read, “Trump builds wall, promoting racism against illegal immigrants.” On the other hand, a conservative site might have a headline similar to, “Trump builds wall to ensure American jobs and to lower crime rate due to illegal immigrants.” While both articles are spreading the news that Trump is building a wall, they are both delivering the news in different ways. This is another reason as to why it’s important for people to understand which sites align with their own personal beliefs, because most media site are indeed biased towards a certain political party.

    There are many different types of biases that media outlets use. Capitalresearch.org says that bias by commission, bias by omission, bias by story selection, bias by placement, bias by the selection of “experts”, and spin are the top six major categories of media biases. Bias by commission is when a platform discusses assumptions and errors that support mostly liberal views and displaying them as “facts”. Most of the time, the media has no research to backup what they’re stating as facts but are just asking their audience to believe them without any actual credible resources. It is also considered the most common type of bias. Bias by omission is when people ignore any facts that can either disprove liberal claims or that support the beliefs of conservatives. Once again, this type of bias is typically used by liberals, to point out claims that only support their own views. This can be seen as one of the most dangerous types of biases because people don’t understand that there is often a lot more to the story than what they are seeing, but instead they are being manipulated to only see what the media wants them to. Bias by story selection is when the media highlights the stories that have to do with the beliefs of liberals while ignoring the stories that have to do with conservative views all together. Bias by placement is when the media will place liberal stories in the spotlight in order to downplay any stories that support conservative views. This could be done by including liberal stories on the front of a newspaper in huge letters while having conservative stories in small fonts on the last page of the paper. This works because most people are likely to read front pages of papers, this is because they are seen as the most important part of the paper, or the biggest story to date. As capitalresearch.org states, “Studies have shown that, in the case of the average newspaper reader and the average news story, most people read only the headline.” This would explain how this type of bias could be successful. Next, bias by the selection of “experts” is when people use phrases to make it seem as if they are getting their information from experts themselves or as if experts agree with their own personal beliefs. Even if the reporter is specifically quoting an expert by their name, it doesn’t necessarily make them credible. This is because they are most likely the one who got to choose the expert they talked to, which is why the expert will probably share the same exact views as the reporter. Lastly is spin. Spin is kind of similar to bias by placement, in the fact that it is when certain aspects of a news story is emphasized so that other aspects will hopefully be ignored. Reporters will often take advantage of spin by also using choice wording and a certain tone to display their message in a certain way.

    Every day media biases are being used in basically every news article out there. A recent example occurred on March 4, 2020 when Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer threatened Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh outside of a pro-abortion rally. Schumer said that the republican justices will “pay the price” if they were to rule on the case taking place in a manor that abortion proponents don’t like. CNN ran the news article by headlining it, “Chuck Schumer condemned after abortion comments.” Meanwhile, Fox News reported the same topic but used the headline, “Schumer unloads on Gorsuch, Kavanaugh at abortion rights rally: ‘You will pay the price!” This is an example of spin because you can clearly see how both sites used wording in order to emphasize certain aspects of the story. CNN said that Schumer only made comments about abortion, which implies that Schumer was only stating his own opinion about abortion and received backlash for doing so. CNN probably wrote their article this way because they are seen as a liberal source, and liberals tend to have pro-choice beliefs. On the other hand, Fox News headlined their article in a way that makes Schumer seem aggressive and slightly even violent. This was mostly likely done because Fox News is seen as a conservative source that is pro-life. This shows how both a liberal and a conservative site can use spin in order to get their story across in a manner that coincides with their own personal beliefs.

    Another example of media biased occurred on February 26, 2020 when the New York Times published an opinion piece called “What We, the Taliban, Want,” which was written by Sirajuddin Haqqani. Times identified Haqqani as the “deputy leader of the Taliban.” However, studentnewsdaily.com says that the FBI says Haqqani if far more than that. The FBI is offering $5 million for any information that could lead to Haqqani’s arrest, while the U.S State Department is offering a $10 million reward to bring Haqqani in. This information was not relayed to Times’ reader when Haqqani’s article was published. The Times’ article also failed to inform readers of the Haqqani family’s role in the Taliban or Sirajuddin’s involvement in terroristic activities. This is an example of bias by omission because the New York Times left vital information out about the author in order to relay a story that only showed Sirajuddin’s point of view while displaying him as a peace-maker. Because of this, the New York Times has also been receiving a lot of backlash from other news sites as well as a majority of their readers. Some people are feeling as if leaving out information like the Times’ did, almost makes them seem as if they are siding with a known member of the Taliban. This is one example of how media bias can cause a lot of problems for news sites.

    While media biases seem inevitable, it can be limited and by doing so would help the American people in the long run. Because most sites are obviously using media biases, it causes people to not believe in what they are seeing in the media. This has caused a decrease in people’s trust with the media and has also caused people to have negative attitudes towards the media as well. When reading the news, people should be able to trust what they are seeing to be true and reliable, however that’s not the instance. This is one of the main reason as to why people will choose to tune into media sites that align with their own personal views.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Media Biases Essay. (2021, Dec 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/media-biases-essay/

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