Bias In The News - YRDSB

Bias In The News - YRDSB

Bias In The News TO RECOGNIZE HOW BIAS MAY OCCUR IN NEWS REPORTING What is the goal of a reporter or a newspaper? 1. to provide readers with objective , unbiased, and reliable information 2. To convey information fairly therefore allowing the facts to speak for themselves . NOTE: Journalists know that the choice of a word of

phrase can determine the context of an entire news story. Many times bias occurs unconsciously Consider the following sentences a) More than 900 people attended the event b) Fewer than 1000 people showed up at the event Both sentences are accurate in terms of the attendance at the event. The first sentence

implies that the event was successful, with more people than expected in attendance. The second sentence implies that fewer people than expected showed up. Neutral: About 950 people attended the event Types of Bias Bias by Omission Bias Through Placement

Bias by Headline Bias by Photos or Captions Bias through Names and Titles Bias through Statistics Bias by Source Control Word Choice or Tone Bias by Omission An editor can express a bias by choosing to use or not to use a specific news item.

If, during a speech, a few people boo, the reaction can be described as "remarks greeted by jeers" or they can be ignored as "a handful of dissidents. Bias through omission is difficult to detect. Only by comparing news reports from a wide variety of outlets can the form of bias be observed. Bias Through Placement Readers of papers judge first page stories to be

more significant than those buried in the back. Television and radio newscasts run the most important stories first and leave the less significant for later. Where a story is placed, therefore, influences what a reader or viewer thinks about its importance. Bias through Headline Many people read only the headlines of a

news item. Most people scan nearly all the headlines in a newspaper. Headlines are the most-read part of a paper. They can express approval or condemnation. Bias through Photos or Captions Some pictures flatter a person, others make the

person look unpleasant. A paper can choose photos to influence opinion about, for example, a candidate for election. On television, the choice of which visual images to display is extremely important. The captions newspapers run below photos are also

potential sources of bias. Bias through use of Names or Titles News media often use labels and titles to describe people, places, and events. A person can be called an "ex-con" or be referred to as someone who "served time twenty years ago for a minor offense." Whether a person is described as a "terrorist" or a

"freedom fighter" is a clear indication of editorial bias. Bias through Statistics To make a disaster seem more spectacular (and therefore worthy of reading about), numbers can be inflated. "A hundred injured in aircrash" can be the same as "only minor injuries in air crash," reflecting the opinion of the person doing the counting.

Bias by Source Control To detect bias, always consider where the news item "comes from." Is the information supplied by a reporter, an eyewitness, police or fire officials, executives, or elected or appointed government officials? Each may have a particular bias that is introduced into the story.

Companies and public relations directors supply news outlets with puffpieces through news releases, photos or videos. Word Choice or Tone Showing the same kind of bias that appears in headlines, the use of positive or negative words or words with a particular connotation can strongly influence the reader or viewer.

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