To be a responsible consumer of news and other forms of media today, you have to be cognizant of a phenomenon called media bias. The simple manner in which the facts of a news story are presented can give a slant to the story that may or may not affect the audiences’ perception of the event. Earmark.org readers know very well that news stations tend to show some political bias, and therefore viewers may have a favorite channel or news team they tune into to get their dose of national news. With the time and space limitations placed on modern reporters and journalists, it is nearly impossible to cover all the facts and figures in every story. This means that some editing is necessary, which is where media bias begins to play a role.
In the US, there is a general sense of a liberal bias to the mass media. It is important to understand where this bias comes from and how it manifests itself in the reporting of the news.
Journalists Are More Liberal than the Average American
Surveys over the last 30 years show that journalists are more likely to vote for liberal candidates, support liberal legislature, and label themselves as being liberal than the overall American population. This trend in favor of the Democratic Party may be due to the type of personality that attracts individuals to careers in journalism in the first place. Some of the statistics may startle you, but 90% of all journalists surveyed were pro-choice when it comes to abortion, 75% believe that the US political action has failed to help Third World countries, and more than half of the journalists feel that the US is exploiting the Third World and using natural resources irresponsibly. Of the most elite (highest paid) journalists, more than 80% of them voted for the Democratic candidate in every presidential election from 1964 to 1976, which demonstrates once and for all that our media personnel relate best to liberal policy and opinions.
The Media Bias Does Not Go Unnoticed
Public opinion polls dating as far back as 1997 indicate that Americans are aware of the political bias in the news, and most acknowledge that it is a liberal bias. The detection of a bias hurts the reputation of the media and opens the door for other criticism. In fact, most Americans believe that the news is not only biased, but factually inaccurate and intrusive. Some believe that the media is a tool used by those in power to manipulate public opinion in their favor.
Will the Journalists Fess Up?
As expected, most journalists won’t discuss the issue of media bias. They fail to acknowledge a general liberal favor, and they feel that they are reporting the news responsibly. Mainstream stations like CNN, C-SPAN, NBC, CBS, and ABC deny any political bias and have gone on record to say that they always strive for balanced reporting. More recently, a few journalists have admitted that their peers investigate news stories from a slightly liberal angle, but they point out that this is done in an effort to report the news respectfully and ensure that no viewers are offended.