How To Detect Bias In News Media


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Media have tremendous power in setting cultural guidelines and in shaping political discourse. It is essential that news media, along with other institutions, are challenged to be fair and accurate. The first step in challenging biased news coverage is documenting bias. Here are some questions to ask yourself about newspaper, TV and radio news.

Who are the sources?

Be aware of the political perspective of the sources used in a story. Media over-rely on “official” (government, corporate and establishment think tank) sources. For instance, FAIR found that in 40 months of Nightline programming, the most frequent guests were Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, Elliott Abrams and Jerry Falwell. Progressive and public interest voices were grossly underrepresented.

To portray issues fairly and accurately, media must broaden their spectrum of sources. Otherwise, they serve merely as megaphones for those in power.

This is a copy of an article found at FAIR, Read the whole article here. Fair Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting.

Questions to ask:

Is there a lack of diversity?

From whose point of view is the news reported?

Are there double standards?

Do stereotypes skew coverage?

What are the unchallenged assumptions?

Is the language loaded?

Is there a lack of context?

Do the headlines and stories match?

Are stories on important issues featured prominently?

One comment

  1. Reblogged this on lektorwien and commented:
    Given the effect that news media has upon its readers, and the fact that many news corporations today are owned by people with interests in other areas as well, it is essential to be critical of what you read/see in the news. For instance, could a news corporation that also owns shares in an oil company be entirely neutral in reporting news related to said oil company?

    Ann Michaelsen has some useful questions here that we should strive to ask ourselves when it comes to bias in the news.

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