CCHU9047 Critical Thinking Question 1

Despite the fact that nowadays many press are having their own political stance, media is not inevitably biased in my opinion. For instance, South China Morning Post is still having a high credibility ranking after transferring the ownership to Alibaba Group. To build a truly objective media outlet, serval ways can be done.

To start with, we can discuss the ownership filter. As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, as the press is owned by some large corporations, such as Oriental Daily, it will show a strong stance in the news content. However, this is depending on the decision made from the manager level. If the owner encourage a objective news reporting, bias will not happen. But this is rather hard to achieve as profit maximisation will easily drive the corporation to conduct self censorship. In this case, more fundings and subsidies provide to the press might mitigate the above problem. It is because the press is less reliance on financial support from the major shareholder.

Another filter would be the advertising. It is common that the publishing company receiving payment from other business companies and help them to issue some news articles as an advertising strategy. Moreover, the publishing company might also tend to take the stance of that business company. The readers would be affected by the news easily both the political stance and purchase incentives. Recommendations will be to broaden the sources of advertisement income, approach different fields and different stances’ advertisers to put advertisement. This is able avoid slanting to either side of stance.

Next point to be discussed would be sourcing. When some journalists are being critical towards government policies or operations, pressures or restrictions might be added or enforced to them, causing less journalists are willing to write articles that will affect the images of government or certain corporates. This is harmful to the media system as well. Protections by law should be provided to the journalists, enabling them can report the situation thoroughly without being threatened.

Followed by the idea of flack, the negative responses from discredit organisations to challenge some established power. To avoid being mislead by the untrustworthy news, basic fact check should be done by the readers. For example, to see if the data given is supported by evident or not. This is to prohibit the false message to spread out.

Last one is ideological marginalisation. It aims to suppress the opinions from the opponents of the government. Enlarging the media accessibility that allows the public to read different articles published from different regions can help diminish the effect of ideology. As the readers can receive wider range of opinions, they have more exposure to different media. It can help them to make a better decision and judgement.

Liang Yongtong, Carol


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