Whatever people thought on marijuana, it has a very strong impact in American culture and history. Especially, since the marijuana legalization was approved in Colorado and New York, the two states’ marijuana sales were likewise patterned after the system adopted by many states for alcohol sales. As a result, it became a controversial topic for people to debate. Many people are wondering if marijuana is safer than alcohol or nor. The two media sources such as NBCNEWS and CNN NEWS also involved in the debate in different kind of media bias: story selection, placement, omission, spin, and labeling to strongly show their specific political perspective: liberal and conservative through the two articles: marijuana is safer than alcohol and Pot Fuels Surge in Drugged Driving Deaths
The first media bias is the story selection, which is a pattern of highlighting news stories that coincide with the agenda of either the left or the right, while ignoring stories that coincide with the opposing view. To identify this type of bias, the conservative and liberal sides of marijuana must be recognized. For example, when searching in both NBCNEWS and CNN NEWS with the key search “Marijuana alcohol”, there would be different results to view such as “Marijuana is safer than alcohol”,” Is marijuana as safe as or safer than alcohol”,” Obama said ‘Marijuana no more dangerous than alcohol’ “in CNN NEWS while the result got in NBCNEWS was on “Pot Fuels Surge in Drugged Driving Deaths.” From this result, it was easily to recognize CNN NEWS is flatter marijuana and is a liberal side while NBCNEWS is a conservative side. In addition, the story selection bias was used in both media sources because as the tittle showed about on NBCNEWS, they all were about marijuana increased drugged driving deaths, and they tried to ignore the simile topic that was shown in CNN NEWS. On the other hand, CNN NEWS used the same method as mentioning above. They were all about marijuana is safer than alcohol but tried to avoid the fact that pot made the problem of drugged driving worse. The way CNN NEWS arranged those tittles this way because they wanted to make use of the second media bias, which will be discussion below.
The second media bias is the placement, which is a rank of how important the author considers the story, usually is the headline. “Studies have shown that, in the case of the average newspaper reader and the average news story, most people read only the headline” (Bake). Going more details on the headline the two articles, it was easy to see CNN NEWS strongly supported the legalization marijuana while the NBCNEWS was the anti -legalization marijuana through the tittles. Let focusing more on the evidence of the both stories; Riffle began his article in CNN NEWS with the evidence about the history and the fighting of marijuana in economy field, he did not first mention about how marijuana is safer than alcohol. He wanted to go far into middle page before citing the fact about alcohol because very few people read the average story all the way through to the end, especially if it is continued to another section of the paper.
“A 2009 Canadian study determined the annual health-related costs associated with alcohol are more than eight times greater per user than with marijuana. And, according to the Institute of Medicine , people who use marijuana are far less likely to become dependent than those who drink alcohol” (Riffle). In contrast, Briggs in NBCNEWS began his article with a short story and then focused each view point with the colleting fact.
“As medical marijuana sales expanded into 20 states, legal weed was detected in the bodies of dead drivers three times more often during 2010 when compared to those who died behind the wheel in 1999, according to a new study from Columbia University published in the American Journal of Epidemiology”(Briggs).
“Alcohol remains, by far, the most common mind-altering substance detected…