The Problems With Media Bias

News coverage is tainted by biases from all sides of the political and social spectrums. Even when journalists show multiple sides to a story, there are different voices that don’t get equally deserved attention.

“In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story” Walter Cronkite

And gradually with time, biases from previous narratives are carved into people’s minds, which leads them to decide on the heroes and villains of other situations.

No wonder 77% of Americans believe that the media favours one side (Pew Research 2011).

The fabrication and omitting of information to the public by the mainstream media is not new. It has been a part of human history and people have always known about its existence. Even back in 1985, more than half of Americans recognized news bias. But as our world is transformed into a global village and technology exposes information, the bias has been harder to keep under the surface from the population.

“Trust is like a paper, once it’s crumbled, it can’t be perfect again”

This is the current relationship between people and the media, and regardless of how many news organizations attempt to rebrand or gain the trust of consumers, repairing that broken trust is a long journey ahead.

The media’s problem is their unchanging approach to the way stories are told. Yes, they have adapted to the world of technology, but the bottom line is that the news pieces are still created by one or two journalists and edited by an editor before the news sees the light of day. Then, some of these investigative and controversial pieces get dissected and bashed on social media as readers notice flaws and biases.

This unhealthy cycle ought to end

There is nothing wrong with taking a side or having opinions in journalism. The challenge is the blurry line between factual reporting and opinionated pieces. This is where information such as quotes and statistics are omitted from the news in order to push the views of the journalists onto their consumers.

The bottom line is that news is crucial for a society to run efficiently, but it must maintain an unbiased form in order for the population to benefit. As Thomas Jefferson once said,

“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
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