Bias in the Media

Adam Steiner, Editor-in-Cheif

As we progress through the twenty-first century, news media continues to become more and more biased, and because of it, it is becoming more and more difficult for Americans to be able to develop their own opinions.

There are only two laws that journalists are legally bound to; you cannot publish/speak information that is purposefully untrue (libel/slander), and that the government has the ability to pull a story from publication if they deem it a national security issue (prior restraint).

Outside of these two laws, journalists are legally permitted to do whatever it is that they please; however, it is beginning to approach a level of becoming immoral.

News should be entirely objective. There should be no opinion included, there should be no cherry picking of facts to support an agenda, there should be no pandering to the public.

Pandering has become one of the largest issues to plague modern society, especially in America. Cable news networks have developed a noticeable affinity for different types of policy.

News networks are quickly becoming interested in whatever is going to generate the most viewers or readers, it is no longer about what is most impactful; it’s about what people want to read or hear about.

Instead of educating the general public in order for them to make their own decisions, news networks fill their air time with opinion, rarely ever just reporting only the facts.

For an obvious example, Fox news has become undeniably conservative, and the Cable News Network (CNN), has developed an obvious liberal bias. According to Allsides, a website that rates news sources on their bias, have surprisingly placed the British Broadcasting Company as center, Time as left leaning, and The Telegraph as conservative.\

What this bias has done is led to the polarization of Americans, depending on what news network they decide to watch.

This is leading to a largely divisive view of politics, which means that people are generally losing the ability to respect each other’s opinions and have intelligent, engaging conversations.

The American political discussion is quickly changing from attempting to convince the other side of your viewpoint using facts, and is instead becoming one giant screaming match.

If America is to continue on this path, it is only going to get worse. American news media needs to begin reverting to true news a majority of the time, with small opinion pieces afterward. If they don’t, the continued splitting of Americans based on political preference is only going to get worse.

There are things that the average American can do to help prevent themselves from falling victim to hidden biased.

American need to realize that the media is having an effect on their views, and that the news that most of them watch/read is not objective.

The American voter needs to be objectively educated in order to develop a sound, independent decision.

As voters, and controllers of the future, there are steps that we should take in order to ensure that we stop this growing divide as well.

We should be reading multiple sources for each article that we read, and we need to able to pick out the facts between all of them, instead of taking the first thing that we read as the absolute and whole truth.

Licensed by Creative Commons; created by IFLA

If we start taking these little steps, we can begin to reverse the tide of divisiveness, and ensure a continuing and well functioning democracy.