Bias in the Media

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Bias in the Media

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Bias in the Media

How does the media shape our opinions?


Essential Questions?

What is “bias”? Is bias inherent in the news media?

What can news consumers do about bias in the news?

How does freedom of the press function in today’s society?

Should the news media follow ethical guidelines? What and why?

What is our role as news consumers?


What is Media Bias?

Most news organizations strive for clarity, fairness and accuracy, yet the public often gives the media low marks for credibility.

In the modern society, mass media represents the dominant mean of social communication, giving to the individuals and to the groups a permanent intense stream of data, facts and ideas


When the information is transmitted through mass media, it proposes certain meanings, building a certain image about the world.


The New York Times

As seen in the NYT September 18


, 2012:


told reporters Monday night that his remarks were “not elegantly stated” and were “spoken off the cuff.” But he says Obama's approach is “attractive to people who are not paying taxes.”


Revised Paragraph

Mr. Romney addressed the video, somewhat awkwardly, at a fund-raiser Monday night in Costa Mesa, Calif., summoning reporters with a few moments’ notice to walk through the


Center for the Arts, which was filled with guests sipping drinks at tables elegantly draped in blue cloths


The first one simply conveys facts, the second one adds commentary designed to paint a picture of bumbling with “somewhat awkwardly” and of elitism with “guests sipping drinks at tables elegantly draped in blue cloths.”


Original text from article

Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager, said in a statement Monday evening that it was “shocking” that Romney would “go behind closed doors” to describe nearly half of the country in such terms.


Revised Article Online

Mr. Romney,

who has been under fire for releasing only two years of his tax returns

, was quickly attacked by the Obama campaign. Jim Messina, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, said in a statement Monday evening that it was “shocking” that Mr. Romney would “go behind closed doors” to describe nearly half of the country in such terms


Less stating of facts and commenting on Romney personally.


Elections are targets of the Media:

In an age of timeliness and demand for information, the media plays a crucial role in informing the public about politics, campaigns and


Positives: Gets information out quickly/ in real time.




helps influence what issues voters





Social Media

Why target Online Voters?

Social Media Users are:

More Politically oriented. Facebook users are 2x more likely to engage in politics.

More Active: 5x more likely to recruit friends to join campaigns/vote.

Networking: People on twitter average 840 connections.

Raise more $ for candidates than non-users. (Campaigns using social media get 40% more contributions/donations than non-users.

(Source; Frank Barry of


fundraising group)


2008 Presidential Debate


From SNL


Nixon v. KennedyKennedy vs. Nixon - 1st 1960 Debate


Does the Media Exaggerate the news

H1N1 disease, commonly known as the swine flu. CNN predicted 90,000 deaths, when only 4,000 deaths occurred in America.


Dozens Report UFO Over New York CityBy FRANK ROSARIOPublished October 14, 2010 New York Post


Questions to consider

Some people think the news is too “liberal” some think it is too “conservative” How can this be?

Is asking tough questions by a journalist being “bias”?

How can you identify bias in the media?

What can you do about it


Does the government have a right to control what the public is being told? (









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