All News Is Biased By Definition
Unbiased News Has Never, Can Never, and Will Never Exist.
News synthesizes events into a narrative structure. The process of synthesizing has an inherent filter — that’s what synthesis is. The construction of the filter; what is and is not included, is a decision that is made based on some thing. That thing biases the synthesis and thus biases the news.
The narrative structure that this constitution leads to is an authored construction based on associating certain events in certain ways. The inherent narrative device is a result of a bias.
To put it another way, on a given day, every human has their own 24 hour period. It’s the news shows job to take 7,500,000,000 people’s 24 hours and reduce it to 1.
Since everyone lives their own individual experience, by definition this process leaves out 99.9999999994% of human experience. This reduction, of 180 billion hours to 1, that’s a filter and that’s a bias.
Beyond being mathematically impossible to be unbiased, anyone telling you about something that happened is constructing a story by simply using words to represent the events that happened. The story is inherently an abstraction of the thing itself.
The construction and connecting of certain events using certain words forms the narrative structure and imbues the bias, as an inherent property of the system. It’s utterly inescapable
Claims of Balance or “No Bias” are By Definition Propaganda
For instance, The Fox News Channel uses a slogan of “Fair and Balanced”. However, to be fair, you don’t need to just report the other side — no there’s tens of millions of other sides; as many as there are people who experienced or were affected by an event. The goal is completely futile. Once you insist there’s a taxonomy of those perspectives that can be broken into clusters you are clearly projecting a bias over the opinions. There’s no way around it.
“Liberal” versus “Conservative” is a False Construction
There’s a simplified analysis of the news; the notion of a “liberal” versus a “conservative” bias. This is the idea that you can take the complex ideas of everyone on the planet on every issue and neatly place them in two giant buckets labeled “liberal” and “conservative”.
It’s grossly inaccurate and incorrect. At any given time, the terms liberal and conservatives represent two potentially overlapping perspectives of but a single issue.
By dividing the bias of the media into only two, pre-chosen camps, which only have some narrow perceptual differences on some small set of issues, you are by definition ignoring the hundreds of billions of other possibilities out there.
Thus the bipolar way we often think about media bias is its own limited construction and its own limited bias.
What To Do
The myth of a necessity of coverage has to be dispelled. For every event that is covered there are countless that aren’t. For every perspective that is given a voice, there’s millions who remain silent. For every narrative that is pieced together, there’s infinite more than are never presented. The entire institution of news is tasked with the construction of the presentation.
With the rise of the internet, the media gatekeepers have collapsed. We could all potentially be the media and have our stories heard. All we need to do is find them and empower ourselves to tell them.