Media Bias in the Political Landscape
Whose opinion will you consider when you step into the polls on Nov. 8 — yours or the media’s?
First of all, I don’t like talking politics.
I hate the guy who walks into a conversation and says, “So who are you voting for this November?” In my opinion, it’s nobody’s business who I’m going to vote for.
But when it comes to the 2016 Presidential Election, it’s hard to keep my mouth shut.
I don’t like either candidate this year. (But let’s face it, I’ve felt the same way the past three election cycles.)
Since my first experience as a voter, I’ve chosen the candidate that, in my opinion, would be the lesser of two evils.
It’s hard to believe the elected candidates that have been presented to us are the best to choose from, but it boils down to one thing — holding the title of President is hard work.
Nobody in their right mind wants to call the Oval Office home, and I don’t blame them. You can’t please everyone.
But there has to be someone out there. Someone who is primed to be our Savior. Someone who can turn our country around, navigate the murky waters of politics and guide us to the Promised Land (or in this case, a united nation.)
But until then, this is what we have to look forward to…
Being a journalist myself, I tend to keep a close eye on the national media, especially during election years.
I hate to say it, but this year, I’ve been ashamed to identify as a journalist due to the blatant disregard of one of the core principles of journalism— to provide unbiased news to the public by reporting the facts.
As of right now, I’m not swaying towards one side or the other, but the media are rubbing shoulders with a certain side of the aisle. And it’s obvious.
When I began my education in Journalism, I was instructed to report the facts, as I eluded to before, but the media are out for ratings. They do what they can to draw an audience for every broadcast or publication — both print and digital.
The various ways they misconstrue reality for the shock and awe factor are innumerable. I sometimes question the very profession I chose to align myself with.
In this article written by Kelly Riddell of The Washington Post, she pointed out a very staggering statistic:
To be sure, a Harvard University study released last week, showed how media coverage on Mr. Trump shifted sharply negative after he won the nomination. During the primary, Mr. Trump had 57 percent positive coverage, now he has 61 percent negative coverage — almost a complete turnaround.
The story was published the week before the Republican National Convention, so that statistic doesn’t include the coverage since then.
Even though Trump has had his foot in his mouth for much of the campaign, the media have not covered the candidates fairly.
For example, they glanced over Clinton’s special guest, Seddique Mateen, at her Aug. 8 rally in Kissimmee, Florida.
The rally took place at the Osceola Heritage Park, which is 20 miles south of the Pulse nightclub. He even endorsed her after the rally ended.
This election is very important for the future of our nation.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t like either candidate, so I’m going to vote for a third-party candidate,” I have one word for you — Don’t.
As you can tell, I haven’t brought up any other name besides Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for a reason.
I’m not completely ruling out a third-party rise in the future, but this is not their year.
Your voice in this election will matter, and it’s in your best interest to use it wisely.
You may be asking yourself, “How do I do that?” Well lucky for you, I have the answer.
1. Do your homework
Go to each candidate’s website and do your research. Read the plans they have outlined to see which candidate’s views best align with yours.
2. Don’t let the media sway your decision
This may be easier said than done, but don’t let their opinion become your opinion.
I’m not saying you should completely avoid watching television or reading the newspaper, but you should think for yourself.
Make an educated decision when you’re standing in the polling booth.
3. Watch the debates
This is technically a subdivision of my first point, but be sure to take time out of your schedule to watch the debates.
A website can sound very articulate and polished, but the debates give each candidate the chance to expand on their views and you can possibly catch them slip from time to time.
And guys, I know the first debate is scheduled during Monday Night Football and the second is scheduled during Sunday Night Football, but that’s what DVR is for.
I don’t care which one you choose, but watch one and record the other.
Here’s the schedule for the debates:
First Presidential Debate: Monday, September 26 (Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY)
Vice Presidential Debate: Tuesday, October 4 (Longwood University, Farmville, VA)
Second Presidential Debate: Sunday, October 9 (Washington University, St. Louis, MO)
Third Presidential Debate: Wednesday, October 19 (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV)
If you follow those three simple guidelines, come Nov. 8 you will make the right decision.
Get out and vote. Make your own decision. Let your voice be heard.
If you don’t, you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.
**If you have not registered to vote yet, click here to view the voter registration deadline for your state.