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Bias in the Media

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Bias in the Media

Graphic by Faith Madsen

Graphic by Faith Madsen

Photo Credit Faith Madsen

Graphic by Faith Madsen

Photo Credit Faith Madsen

Photo Credit Faith Madsen

Graphic by Faith Madsen

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It has long been known that bias influences many news outlets when discussing information related to politics. While some differences in information remain minor, others allow the reader to create an image that is swayed by large amounts of media bias. In choosing to watch a news broadcast that is often identified with a particular party representation, one may choose to read/listen to an article that may be interpreted as opinion rather than fact. A study conducted by Ad Fontes Media displays a chart of 104 Media outlets and their generalized partisan stance while reporting. 

This chart explains common news resource’s party affiliation and the reliability of the information coming from these outlets.

 

A comparison of headlines between left and right leaning media outlets can allow readers a small insight into these opposing sides. In research pulled from CNN and Fox News, it is very easy to see the differences in partisan stance. In the chart above, CNN was categorized as split between “neutral” and “skews Left” with “fair interpretations of the news.” Fox News was listed as “Hyper Partisan Right” while edging into “Most Extreme Right.” Fox was also displayed with “Extreme/Unfair interpretations of the news” and “Nonsense damaging to public discourse.”

 

Two headlines comparing discussions of the government shutdown display major contrast.

Fox News- “Chaos on the house floor as Dems hold hasty vote to end shutdown, Republicans demand redo.”

CNN- “White house looks to pick off Democrats to shake up shutdown stalemate, even as party remains united.”

Fox describes said discussion as “chaos” and “hasty,” displaying a negative democratic presence as the Republicans have to “demand redo.” CNN describes the shutdown as a way to try and “pick off Democrats” and displays the Democratic party as “united” in contrast to Fox’s “chaos.”

 

In a similar headline comparison, Fox uses “clarifies” while CNN described the same comments as contradicting. Fox’s positive use of “clarifies” allows right-leaning viewers to see Giuliani’s comments without a negative connotation. CNN’s unfavorable use of “contradicted” gives these comments a negative view towards Trump’s attorney.

Fox News- “Rudy Giuliani clarifies comments on alleged collusion Trump Campaign.”

CNN- “Giuliani just totally contradicted 18 months of ‘no collusion’ talk from Donald Trump.”

 

Understanding bias in media outlets can help readers/viewers to stay well informed on facts and critical information that affect their day to day lives. Be sure to look for words specifically chosen to convey a positive or negative connotation on an article or report. Seek out independent or neutral news sources, as they typically don’t rely on opinion/editorial reporting. Receive and seek out multiple news sources that are reliable and trustworthy to stay fully informed and aware of views from both party sides!

About the Writer
Faith Madsen, Staff

Freshman. Probably drinking coffee and laughing. Soccer player.

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