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Is bias/slant in reporting the news a good or a bad thing? Why?
News is the communication of information specifically on current events through various medium like, broadcast, internet, print or verbally to a crowd of people. The reporting of news had been there since time in memorial. This is when language invention was the only way to change the medium through which news reporting did take place (Watts, 2005.P.53). Media bias/slant in reporting the news is as old as the news reporting itself. The favorable selection of news and events that are to be reported is a thorn in the flesh of many individuals all over the world who would like to get some news. News bias is wrong and should be eradicated to give people they democratic right of freedom to information.
News bias is in many forms, political, individual, racial, and economical and many other forms. Political bias is the main slant in the media. This has been the vision of this industry since it began to innovate the printing press. In the earlier days, the cost of printing was extremely high, and thus the media houses had to source for funds from rich and powerful individuals in the government. The groups of people funding the media houses were mainly politicians. They did take control of the media houses and the content they made public to create bias.
History judges the media harshly with slant. Many citizens depend upon the news they get to make a decision on which candidate to choose during elections. The pictures painted by the media will form the basis on which the political candidates will be face judgment. For instance, between the years 1964 and 2004, republican candidates have won the presidential election seven times compared to the four times the democrats’ candidates have won. The surprising part is that democrats’ candidates won have won all the elections between 1964 and 2004 in the ballots of the journalists counting. This clearly shows the extent of news bias in the country (Watts, 2005.P.53).
Media houses should be the watchdogs of the political elite and provide guidance to these people. These people are desperately in need of information news bias leads to selfish and improper governments. The people should be able to trust the media, but this is not the case. Opinion polls Gallup Polls indicate that most Americans do not have faith in the mass media to report news accurately, fully and fairly. There is usually a lot of editing of the news before it reaches the audience. Some time the media houses might have a legitimate reason for censoring the news. Such reasons may be matters of national security of the content might bring unnecessary panic among the people.
Media bias can also be used to favor certain economic situations. Certain products in the market advertisements get lots of slants to get to certain customers. For instance, products like Toyota cars and apple computers may appeal to more to liberals while ‘American' products such as the Chevy truck may appeal more to conservative customers. Political attachment to products will lead to market depreciation or appreciation due to the bias. Other companies with a lot of media influence may take their competitors out of business through news slant.
Bias in the entertainment media has also been in the rise. In his book Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took over Your TV, Ben Shapiro argues that executives, writers and producers who control the entertainment industry are using television to promote liberal political agendas. These programs have exceptionally high viewer rate and give news and information to people. If there is bias, the opinions of few individuals seem to get more attention rather than the truth.
In the illustration, news reporting bias has no positive effect apart from when it is in the interest of the country on matters of security. As such, news reporting slant should be eliminated from the media house to for the lives of the citizens not to be controlled by few political and financial elites in the society. Fairness and accuracy in reporting should be the one and only mission of the news media.