2 What Is Bias?Bias can be defined as favoring one side, position, or belief – being partial or prejudicedWhere have you seen bias at work?
3 Bias vs. Propaganda Bias is … … prejudice; a preconceived judgment or an opinion formed without grounds or sufficient knowledge.Propaganda is …… a systematic effort to influence people’s opinions; to win them over to a certain side or view.
4 What Does Biased Language Look Like? Not biased (just an observation): Frank spends very little money. Biased favorably: Frank is thrifty. Biased unfavorably: Frank is a cheapskate.
5 Can Bias Be Found In the News? Consider these two sentences in a potential news story:“A crowd of more than 900 attended the protest.”“Fewer than 1,000 showed up to protest.”How could you state this detail in a neutral way?
6 How To Detect Bias When Reading Every news story, article, etc. is influenced by the:thoughtsopinionsbackgroundof the:authoreditorinterviewer
7 How To Detect Bias, Continued Bias isn’t always on purpose – sometimes it just creeps in.By looking for it, you can spot bias and become a better reader.
8 Let’s Examine Bias Through … OmissionPlacementPhotosNames and TitlesStatisticsWord Choice and ToneSource Control
9 Bias Through OmissionSometimes, certain details or facts will be cut out of a story, and others will be included.This can change how readers/viewers think about the story.Make sure to consider multiple sources to get the “full” story.
10 Bias Through Omission, Continued A news story could be written about people booing during a speech.“The President’s remarks were greeted by loud jeers.”“A small handful of people disagreed with the President’s remarks.”
11 Bias Through Placement Usually, stories in a newspaper or on a news program that are chosen to be put first are seen as the most important stories.Stories that appear at the back of a newspaper or at the end of a broadcast are seen as less important.
12 Bias Through Placement, Continued For example, if a story about the disaster in the Philippines is on the front page of the newspaper, it will be seen as important.If the story about the typhoon in the Philippines is buried in the back of the paper, it will be regarded as less important.
13 Bias Through PhotosSome photos can make the subject look serious, beautiful, healthy, and so on. Other photos, however, can be very unflattering and make the subject look ridiculous, sick, etc.The images of someone in the news can influence how people think about him or her.
14 Bias Through Photos, Continued Compare these images …
15 Bias Through Photos, Continued … to these photos.
16 Bias Through Names and Titles The way a person is described or labeled can influence how we think about him or her.
17 Bias Through Names and Titles, Continued Consider the difference in the following statements:“John Doe, an ex-con, is now running for office.”“John Doe, who was convicted 20 years ago for a minor offense, is now running for office.”
18 Bias Through Statistics Numbers and statistics can be manipulated to change the way we think about them.
19 Bias Through Statistics, Continued Consider the following statements:“The fundraiser for the school raised only $1,100.”“The school’s successful fundraiser raised over $1,000.”
20 Bias Through Word Choice The words and tone the journalist/writer uses can influence a story.Using positive or negative words can change how we feel about the news story.We can also be influenced by a news broadcaster’s tone of voice.
21 Bias Through Word Choice, Continued Consider the following examples:“The politician presented his well-thought out and intelligent plan to Congress.”“The politician presented his shoddy and disorganized plan to Congress.”
23 Here are the headlines and lead paragraphs of two articles which came out the morning of March 11, They are covering the same incident:New York Times 03/11/2003USA Today 03/11/2003Iraq forces suspension of U.S. surveillance flights UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Iraqi fighter jets threatened two American U-2 surveillance planes, forcing them to return and abort their mission and return to base, senior U.S. officials said Tuesday.U.N. Withdraws U-2 Planes WASHINGTON (AP) – U.N. arms inspectors said Tuesday they had withdrawn two U- 2 reconnaissance planes over Iraq for safety reasons after Baghdad complained both aircraft were in the air simultaneously.
24 The Denver Post Red Wings 5, Avalanche 3 Injury begin Avs’ tumble Here are hockey headlines from the hometown newspapers of the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings:The Denver Post Red Wings 5, Avalanche 3 Injury begin Avs’ tumbleThe Detroit News Red Wings 5, Avalanche 3 Wings are too much for Avalanche
25 Bias Through Controlling the Source Ask yourself:Where does the story originate?Who is the source of the story?Whose point of view am I reading or hearing?
26 Bias Through Controlling the Source, Continued Example:How would the information look if you interviewed each legal team during a murder trial?What would happen if you only interviewed the prosecution for your article?
27 What Influences News Bias? GeographyAmerican sources like CNN have labeled the conflict in the Middle East as the “War in Iraq”IdeologyA writer’s/journalist’s personal beliefsInstitutional AffiliationWho is paying the writer? Does the payer have a bias that the writer has to use?The Medium Being UsedExample: leading story from a 30-minute evening news program vs. front page article of the New York Times
28 Critical Thinking Questions Who created/paid for this message?For what purpose was it made?Who is the “target audience”?What techniques are used to attract my attention and increase believability?Who or what might be omitted, and why?What do “they” want me to think or do?Where might I go to get more information?
29 Questions, Continued Who stands to benefit from the message? Why is this message being sent?Who stands to benefit from the message?How might other people interpret the message differently from me?What can I do with the information I obtain?What do I know; not know; want to know?
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