Home > BLOG 6 > Blog 6: A Look at Media Bias

Blog 6: A Look at Media Bias

Media bias is prevelant in media today, and it can be attributed to a number of factors. Cunnigham is quick to point out that blame cannot be placed squarely on producers of news, but also on those who consume it. A particular failure of the press Cunnigham notes is:

“allowing the principle of objectivity to make us passive recipients of the news, rather than aggressive analyzers and explainers of it”.

This a simple yet very true observation on Cunnigham’s part. Media analyst Andrew Tindall’s research of consumers’ reliance on official sources is a perfect example of this:

“of the 414 stories on Iraq broadcast on NBC, ABC, and CBS from last September to February, all but thirty-four originated at the White House, Pentagon, and State Department”.

In today’s society, news recipients trust that the news they are receiving is true and objective and take it at face value, instead of questioning and investigating addressed topics  and sources themselves. By doing our own digging and news checking consumers are able to take numerous perspectives on the issue into consideration when forming their own opinions. Gunther and Schmitt also reference the consumer side of media when they state:

“There is diverse and plentiful evidence that people interpret information so that it appears to conform to their preexisitng attitudes”.

Everyone has different and diverse views, people will take information the media provides and apply it to how it suites their personal views, forming their own bias just because of who they are. Diversity can also be an issue on the production side of the news, when not enough socioeconomic diversity is incorporated into the media, people receive a message from the same perspective. A high-earning white male is not going to share the same perspective on health care as a low-income black women, or any issue for that matter.  People reporting the news should be of many different ethnicities, economic classes, and genders in order to obtain the most fair and universal media coverage. Al Cunnigham contributes media bias to the lack of space and time journalists have to investigate and share all the information they have learned. By having to edit their information, journalists have a more difficult time presenting a story with a less narrow perspective. Media will always be bias in some form because of the lack of understanding of “the other”, according to Cunnigham, this will always be a challenge of journalists everywhere.

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