So, is media inevitably biased? Can we build a truly objective media outlet by avoiding the 5 filters?

CCHU 9047 — CTQ 1

Is media inevitably biased? I do not think so. It is the media’s choice to be biased or not. For example, Indonesia’s president election earlier at 2014, there are 2 main groups supporting the candidates. Television news programs in Indonesia are also divided into 3 groups because of the election, there are 1st candidate’s supporter, 2nd candidate’s supporter, and neutral. In the election day, they show some quick count results from some sources. The quick count results should be similar. However, they showed different result from one other. There are TV programs that showed that 1st candidate win and some others showed that 2nd candidate win. The difference in the quick count results are also far, with a 6% difference. Final result from the real count showed that 2nd candidate win. This showed that TV programs that favors the 1st candidate are inevitably biased to the 1st candidate. One of the reason was that supporting parties of 1st candidate own most of the TV programs and therefore by showing that 1st candidate win, it may convey a sense of support to the 1st candidate, making it biased.

Can we build a truly objective media outlet by avoiding the 5 filters? I will answer this question with yes, but it won’t be that easy. However, we can try by doing these:

Ownership: Medias in Indonesia are owned by independent individual and some owned by parties’ member. To build an objective media outlet, citizens must be more critical and updated to any issues happened around, so that when they read news that they think might not be true, they must not trust it easily. For the media company itself, they need to try to be neutral so they can provide news with facts, not with exaggerate facts.

Advertising: Advertisements are really common in medias. Without advertisements, medias will be really hard to survive. To build an objective media outlet, medias must have more bargaining power than the advertisements companies. For example, media must try hard to increase their readers or viewers, so that advertisements companies are willing to advertise in the medias without asking for any complement.

Sourcing: It is true that reporters/journalists cannot be anywhere reporting what happened around the world. Building journalists association or bodies might be one of ways that can be done as a platform for them to share information among journalists, so that they can share what information they have to each other.

Flack: Assume that there are 2 sides in this world, the black side and white side. Anything good about black side will be dislike by white side and vice versa. How to deal with this? We must build a more connected and open-minded citizen vibe (by giving more factual facts), so that everyone would not see anything only from one side.

Ideological marginalization: Medias are more to give information based on people’s taste. This “ideological marginalization” makes media harder to provide more objective media outlet.

To conclude, not all medias are inevitably biased. It is based on the media choice to be biased or not and it is really based on who owned the media. It is easier to build a truly objective media if the owners of medias are independent/neutral individual because they don’t take sides. There are possibilities for media to be truly objective but they need to have strong commitment in giving factual news to readers/viewers.

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