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Yes. Media are very biased

Before start to my argument, I want to ask one question, could media possibly achieve one-hundred percent objectiveness, and fairness? Well, as a journalism student, based on my working experience and conversations with many professional reporters in United States and South Korea, I think that is impossible.

There are several factors in and outside of the media that prevent them from fulfilling pure objectiveness. For instance, news organization bias could affect selecting their agendas, and individual reporter’s bias might be a key role of choosing their stories’ sources, and interviewees. To sum up, this all may contribute to results in biased’ news materials

First, there are ownership issues.

Many news media including, NBC, CNN, and Fox News, are not owned by truth seeking journalists, but by so-called ‘media entrepreneurs” whose interests are solely based on profit

Considering the fact that profit comes from advertisements, media should be very careful to cover corporation related stories, and it is very tempting for them to be pro-corporations. It sounds a little radical, but I am just telling the basic system of current commercial media. That’s just way it is. Noam Chomsky explains this phenomenon on this video.

-News Corporation is not much care about truth of news contents.

 

Second, media’s biases are based upon their readerships, and thus, their ideologies.

 

According to the pew research center reports in 2010 “Americans Spending More Time Following the News” the consumption of news have become “increasingly politicized over the past decades”.

Most of republicans watch ‘Fox News’ compare with just 15% of Democrats. (2010), In contrast, “nearly a quarter of liberal democrats regularly get news from NPR, compared with 10% of conservative and moderate democrats.” (2010)


Media contents are not free from these politicized viewers. If certain media’s majority viewers were conservatives, media have to produce conservative contents to keep hold of their audiences. The number of viewers is directly related to advertising revenues, and their influences on the society. If media lose their viewers, it could endanger their reason of existence.

Third, reporters in the news organizations are also very biased.

It starts with very simple fact. Journalists are also human beings and they are not very different from us.

They have their own interests, ideologies, and having different experiences during their life. Even though, they might be more careful than us to be unbiased, but still lots of cases, their personal interests have certain influence on their stories. For instance, before they choose their employer, many of my friends, who are liberal democrats, are not applying for Fox News. Reversely, This might be true for my republican friends too. They won’t apply for MSNBC. Although, I think individual’s bias is not a big factor to contribute media bias in current commercial system, but it shouldn’t be neglected.

I may sounds sarcastic, but granting that media cannot achieve pure objectiveness, there have always been great news organization and reporters whom fight for the poverty, unfairness in society, and try to inform citizens better and make sincere political discourse to enrich our democracy. Although, recent political environment are extremely politicized, and lots of curse words were exchanged through media, and between media, I believe this could be very temporal, and our media environment will be reshaped to promote reasonable and rationale discourse from each side.Whether media are biased or not the point is how news media from each side to do their best to promote their values and ideas based on facts and virtuous motivations.

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  1. February 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Even if the news media cannot be completely objective, that doesn’t mean they are “very” biased. You provide a good description of possible sources of bias in the news media, but where is your evidence that the media are “very” biased?

    The potential for bias is not necessarily the same thing as actual bias, is it?

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