Monday, May 9, 2011

Don't feel INCLINED to LEAN on ONE-SIDE.

Valerie Evans

Many news outlets encourage for neutral reporting, a journalist who covers a story without persuading the reader to take a certain stance on it. However, there are others, such as FOX News, that are notorious for media bias when it comes to political issues. FOX is not the only station guilty of media bias, according to a few essays published by Columbia Journalism Review, the Obama and McCain election in 2008 was jam-packed with it!

(Image provided by: Mofo Politics)

In one essay, "In the Tank", Douglas McCollam states that the Project for Excellence in Journalism researched the election and by analyzing "2,412 campaign stories from forty-eight news outlets published in the six weeks between the Republican convention in early September and the last presidential debate in October." The reported a bias towards negatively covering John McCain. No shocker here -- journalists are notorious for being Liberals! The shocker for me was that the researchers did not include talk radio, most importantly Rush Limbaugh (Sean Hannity)...

(Image provided by: CARTOONS by Henry)

Though the election's media bias was obvious and at times used as a comedic relief (Saturday Night Live), it is not always as easy to spot. Take "Elements of NPR Gotcha Video Taken Out of Context" by David Folkenflik's prime example: James O'Keefe III capturing video footage of NPR's chief fundraising official, Ron Schiller, slamming the conservatives and others.

At first glance the edited video footage appears to most as a high-ranked NPR employee ranting endlessly about his political opinions. But after a few glances, and after watching the full-length video, it becomes more evident that O'Keefe actually edited to the video with bias. Persuading the viewers towards drawing a certain confusion about Schiller.

Now, O'Keefe's actions did not take back the apparently strong words that Schiller DID say, but it did exemplify how a story can be twisted out of a neutral perspective and into a one-sided standpoint.

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