Special Project Essay

Submitted By respectwalk7
Words: 1391
Pages: 6

Bias in the Media Some may ask “How does the media show bias?” Bias in the media is very prominent these days. When an editor feels like one topic is more important than another, that editor may make a specific article in a newspaper, online editorial, a blog or others seem more important. Bias in the media can come in many ways, such as layout, photos and point of view. Contrary to some people’s beliefs, bias is not always an easy thing to detect. Some are better than others at detecting it, while some are blind to the bias and will believe whatever they read online, in a newspaper, etc. But what is one way to detect if something shows bias? Well, first, check the layout. “When it comes to printed news, the front page trumps all…” (Duzzet). This is a way to detect if the media you are reading is biased or not. Of course, it could just be that the news is actually more important than the other news that is in the smaller print. An example of this would be, say, the NSA invading peoples’ privacy rights, as opposed to a stray dog being saved. Both are interesting to some people, but most people would like to see the NSA story more, so they put that in front. This can be abused, however. Let’s say editor of the newspaper you are reading was paid by someone to keep the article in question lower priority than other current news. This might result in the newspaper coming out with the story of a stray dog being rescued in the headlines, while the NSA story is in smaller print near the bottom of the page. That would be showing bias because the editor feels like you do not need to see other news first, therefore making you read the “bigger” articles first. “…the stories easiest to see are the ones that will be forefront in the mind of the public…” (Duzzet). This is true, as well. The layout of the article in question directly relates to what the readers think about when they are reading it. Let’s say you see an article heading that says “26 orphans left stranded”. While reading the article about the orphans, you are thinking/waiting to read about them being stranded. However, if the article’s name was “26 orphans left stranded start doing parkour”, even if the article has nothing to do with parkour, the reader is waiting for the orphans to start doing flips off of walls and whatnot. Layout is a very prominent way to show bias, but it is not the only way to show it. Photos in the media are also a way to show bias that is very common in the current day and age. If a photo is taken by one photographer and not edited, and then the same photo is edited by a biased editor, the message that comes across in the photo would be very different. A common term for photos that have been tampered with, either positively or negatively, is the term “shopped.” This could mean the photo was changed to make it look more aesthetically pleasing, and it could also mean the photo was taken out of proportion and made to look like it means something that the original photo did not mean. An example of a photo that might be edited and biased is of a person in the military. If an editor for a newspaper, online blog or another news source finds it and edits it, it will come out differently. Let’s say that an anti-war editor finds it. He may use Photoshop to edit this photo to make it look like it is in a bad light. However, if the editor is pro-war, he may glorify the photo by making it look nice. If an unbiased editor finds it, the photo may be either not “shopped” at all, or it may be “touched up”, such as making the light brighter, clearing up blurs, etc. This shows how important bias is in photos. The general public usually believes what they see. If they see a photo that an editor “shopped”, it may make the public believe differently than what the photo is actually showing. Photos can show different points of view, as well. Bias in point of view is the media’s downfall. Since the public usually believes what they read, if the media shows any sort