Presentation on theme: "How to Detect Media Bias"— Presentation transcript:
1 How to Detect Media Bias BIAS IN THE NEWSHow to Detect Media Bias
2 Today’s Targets 2/6/2014: You will be able to: understand how to detect bias in the news (future articles)
3 What is “bias”? Favoring one side, position, or belief. Generally it is unannounced – readers need to be wary and “read between the lines” to discover biasWhat is “bias”?
4 Is the news biased? YES! News can be biased. Bias can be hard to avoid – we’re all human and we all have personal biases that can sometimes accidentally slip into our work.Stories are influenced by:the people interviewedthe reporters’ personal beliefsthe way a story is editedthe types of photographs usedIs the news biased?
5 FACT VS. OPINION Statement F or O? Many American soldiers are being killed in Afghanistan.Afghanis want the American soldiers to leave their country.Iran’s President has stated the Holocaust never happened.The War on Terrorism can never be won.
6 So what’s the difference? OPINIONNot supported by evidence“Evidence” is insufficient to produce complete certaintySo what’s the difference?FACTCan be verified – generally by multiple sourcesSupported by evidenceCan be proven
8 Selection and Omission Using or not using a source can change the ‘reality’ of a story for the readers. Compare numerous sources to find the truth!
9 Bias through Placement Stories that run first are seen as the most important.Stories placed on the front page or ‘above the fold’ are deemed most important.A person makes these decisions – they are constructing the importance of an issue!
10 Bias by HeadlineHeadlines are the most read part of the paper and are designed to draw the reader to an article. Most readers do not read the articles, so a biased headline (even paired with a balanced article) will mislead readers.
11 Bias by Photos, Captions, and Camera Angles Pictures only show a portion of the person, issue, or event. • You see what the photographer wants. • Captions provide the photographer or writer’s description of the image.
12 Bias through use of Names or Titles Labels used to describe a person, event, and place. Writer selects what label to use.“accused murderer” vs. “suspected murderer”“the crime” vs. “the alleged crime”“the frontrunner” vs. “the candidate”
13 Bias through Statistics and Crowd Counts Inflated numbers make a story more interesting or seem more important. Not all numbers create bias, so read carefully! 2,239 students attend LZHS this year LZHS’ student population is up 29%The flat statistic is unbiased and unemotional. It just IS.The % should be questioned – it’s up from when? Many years ago vs. last year? The stat seems impressive but it isn’t all that shocking if the population went up 29% over many years.
14 Bias by Source ControlWhere does the story originate? Who are the sources for the story? Whose point of view are you hearing/ reading? Question why the reporter used these specific sources!
15 Word Choice and ToneSimilar to headlines – use of positive or negative words can persuade people.
16 INTENTIONALLY BIASED: COMMON TAKE NOTE!Some media are meant to contain opinion.INTENTIONALLY BIASED: COMMON
17 Bylined viewpoint pieces by newspaper staff Op-Ed / Editorial PageLetters to the editorPolitical cartoonsColumnsBylined viewpoint pieces by newspaper staffNot all bias is easy to detect, but there are some media types that are always opinionated because they are meant to be!
18 Purpose of Op-Ed or Editorial Page Encourage thought and discussionInfluence actionPush for reformProvide background and analysisAllow the community to have a voice
20 S stands for Source. Find out who is providing the information.
21 Question: Why are they telling me this stuff? M is for Motivation.Question: Why are they telling me this stuff?
22 E is for Evidence. Question: Do they have real evidence for their assertions? What kind of evidence is provided?
23 L is for Logic.Wonder aloud: Do the facts offered logically compel the conclusions? Or does this sound like twisted thinking?
24 L is for Left out.Think about it: What's missing in the information that might change the interpretation of the subject matter?
25 Sources• • "How to Detect Bias in the News | Handout.“ Media Awareness Network | Réseau éducation médias. 6 Mar <http://www.mediaawareness.ca/english/resources/educational/handouts/broadcast_news/bw_bias_in_the_news.cfm>0. John McManus, author of the book, "Detecting Bull"