Mass Media and Media Bias - LPS

Mass Media and Media Bias - LPS

Mass Media and Media Bias Think About It The wisdom of the crowd often replicates the opinion of experts Do you agree, or disagree? Explain. LSW GOPO Understanding the different ways in which bias can be found in media and political messages is important. Developing a filter of identification will allow you to better navigate and attach yourself to messages that are meaningful to you. Knowing how

to identify bias will better prepare you for defining issues and attaching importance to a wide variety of issues in contemporary politics. The following information will help in the identification process. Mass Media Defined means of communication that reach large, widely dispersed audiences simultaneously. Newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the Internet have a huge effect on the formation of public opinion. Effects of Mass Media

There is at least one television set in more than 98% of the nations 115 million households. There are two or more sets in more than 80 million homes and millions more in many other places Most of those sets are turned on for at least 8 hours a day, for a mind-boggling total of more than a billion hours a day. By the time a student graduates from high school, he or she will have spent nearly 11,000 hours in classrooms and nearly 15,000 hours watching television. On average, high school students watch more than 20 hours of TV each week.

Mirrors and Molders The media are frequently said to be mirrors as well as molders of opinion. It is often claimed that the views expressed in newspaper editorials, news magazines, television commentaries, and blogs are fairly good indicators of public opinion. In fact, however, the media are not always accurate mirrors of public opinion, often reflecting only the views of a vocal minority. Questions to Ask when Analyzing Media

Who are the sources? From whose point of view is the news reported? Are there double standards? What are the unchallenged assumptions? Is the language loaded or neutral? Is there a lack of context to the story? Do the headlines and stories match? Components of Media Bias Media Bias

Spin Bias by spin Bias by spin occurs when the story has only one interpretation of an event or policy, to the exclusion of the other; spin involves tone its a reporters subjective comments about objective facts; makes one sides ideological perspective look better than another. To check if its spin, observe which interpretation of an event or policy a news story matches the liberal or conservative. Many news stories do not reflect a particular spin. Others summarize the spin put on an event by both sides. But if a story reflects one to the exclusion of the other, then youve found bias by spin. 2012 Election: Media Spectrum

http://www.journalism.org/analysis_report/ coverage_candidates_media_sector_and_cable_outlet Labeling Bias by labeling Bias by labeling comes in two forms. The first is the tagging of conservative politicians and groups with extreme labels while leaving liberal politicians and groups unlabeled or with more mild labels. The second kind of bias by labeling occurs when a reporter not only fails to identify a liberal as a liberal,

but describes the person or group with positive labels, such as an expert or independent consumer group. In so doing, the reporter imparts an air of authority that the source does not deserve. If the expert is properly called a conservative or a liberal the news consumer can take that ideological slant into account when evaluating the accuracy of an assertion. When looking for bias by labeling, remember that not all labeling is biased or wrong. Bias by labeling is present when the story labels the conservative, but not the liberal; when the story uses more extreme sounding labels for the conservative than the liberal (ultraconservative, far right, but just liberal instead of far left and ultra-liberal); and when the story misleadingly identifies a liberal official or group as an expert or independent watchdog organization. Same Story, Different Views

President Obama "manned up" Wednesday, exercised his executive authority and announced the recess appointment of Richard Cordray as the Director of the Consumer Protection Bureau--ending months of partisan bickering and obstructionism by 45 Republican Senators and their patrons in the financial services industry. Huffington Post Article President Obama today will give a

recess appointment to Richard Cordray to serve as director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a Republican filibuster last month blocked the Senate from securing cloture on Cordrays nomination. - Brookings Institution Article In a revelation that is quite shocking to anyone who knows anything about the

100-plus years of precedent on the recess appointment power or the separation of powers, the White House today announced that the President planned on making a purported recess appointment of Richard Cordray to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This is a position the Senate has refused to confirm Cordray for, and it is also of note that the White House announced this momentous decision in an official tweet from communications director Dan Pfeiffer. Heritage Foundation Article

http://www.politico.com/gallery/2012/06/howmedia-played-scotus-ruling/000226-002829.html Placement Bias by placement Story placement is a measure of how important the editor considers the story. Studies have shown that, in the case of the average newspaper reader and the average news story, most people read only the headline. Bias by placement is where in the paper or in an article a story or event is printed; a pattern of placing news stories so as to downplay information supportive of conservative views. To locate examples of bias by placement, observe where a newspaper places political stories. Or

whenever you read a story, see how far into the story the conservative viewpoint first appears. In a fair and balanced story, the reporter would quote or summarize the liberal and conservative view at about the same place in the story. If not, youve found bias by placement. Story Selection Bias by story selection a pattern of highlighting news stories that coincide with the agenda of the Left while ignoring stories that coincide with the agenda of the Right; printing a story or study released by a liberal group but ignoring studies on the same or similar topics released by conservative groups. To identify bias by story selection youll need to know the conservative and liberal

sides of the issue. See how much coverage conservative issues get compared to issues on the liberal agenda. For example, if a liberal group puts out a study proving a liberal point, look at how much coverage it got compared to a conservative study issued a few days or weeks earlier. If charges of impropriety are leveled at two politicians of approximately equal power, one liberal and one conservative, compare the amount of coverage given to each. Selection of Sources Bias by selection of sources including more sources that support one view over another. This bias can also be seen when a reporter uses such

phrases as experts believe, observers say, or most people believe. Experts in news stories are like expert witnesses in trials. If you know whether the defense or the prosecution called a particular expert witness to the stand, you know which way the witness will testify. And when a news story only presents one side, it is obviously the side the reporter supports. (Journalists often go looking for quotes to fit their favorite argument into a news story.) To find bias by use of experts or sources, stay alert to the affiliations and political perspective of those quoted as experts or authorities in news stories. Not all stories will include experts, but in those that do, make sure about an equal number of conservatives and liberals are quoted. If a story quotes non-experts, such as those portrayed as average citizens, check to be sure that about an equal number come from both sides of the issue in question.

Omission Bias by omission leaving one side out of an article, or a series of articles over a period of time; ignoring facts that tend to disprove, or support liberal/conservative beliefs ; bias by omission can occur either within a story, or over the long term as a particular news outlet reports one set of events, but not another. To find instances of bias by omission, be aware of the conservative and liberal perspectives on current issues. See if the conservative perspective is included in stories on a particular event or policy.

Gun Control: Jan 14, 2013 Now w/ Alex Wagner, Rachel Maddow and MSNBC http:// video.msnbc.msn.com/ now-with-alex-wagner/ 50434394#50434394 Fox News: Presidential power grab on gun control? Sean Hannity http://

www.foxnews.com/onair/hannity/ 2013/01/10/ presidential-powergrab-gun-control 24 hour news v. primary stations; Journalists v. bloggers Reporting news v. creating news Joe Schmo on myblog.blogspot.com v. Walter Cronkite (journalism standards and credibility v.

blogosphere) Implications of Bias How does the media affect society? How are medias effects shaped by the lens through which they present news? Egyptians becoming sources of news during the Arab Spring and overthrow of Mubarak.

How to Recognize and Analyze Bias Who are the sources? From whose point of view is the news reported? Are there double standards?

What are the unchallenged assumptions? Is the language loaded or neutral? Is there a lack of context to the story? Do the headlines and stories match? Types of Media Bias

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