Media Bias.

And why would some people say this?

“Media includes every broadcasting and narrowcasting medium such as newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, billboards, direct mail, telephone, fax, and internet.”

My understanding of this activity was that the people involved in the media would report on events as factual representation of them leaving the audience to decide the merits. What however media has become now, is an opinion making institution. Like all other opinion making, here too there are many shades of opinion some strong and some weak and the trend in the recent past has been for the strong to bring out the heavy artillery swamping the weaker ones.

The comic part of this approach of bias has been its abject failure. Let me just take two examples, one from the West and one from the East.

From India, the media was totally against the BJP, the present ruling party in the Center and many States of India. The more that the bias was shown to the public, the more seats that the party won. It now looks as though it is unbeatable for the foreseeable future.

The other example is that of the POTUS. I distinctly remember the strong bias against Trump in the media while the campaigning was going on and the bias continued right up to the results being announced and even after the inauguration. He is still there and at least to his constituency, he seems unbeatable despite there being no let up in the bias against him in the media.

As a very dear friend recently observed, what seems to be happening is that the social media has become more effective in swaying public opinion. The wireless mobile telephony offering access to platforms like facebook and whatsapp,  has unleashed an information sharing method that has had a greater impact than the traditional media channels.

Shackman has suggested this week’s topic. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin, Ashok and Shackman.

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16 Responses to Media Bias.

  1. nick says:

    I think there’s plenty of honest journalism, though it does tend to be overshadowed by journalism that plugs a particular message or product or person. The serious British papers do on the whole present a variety of views on any given subject, not just one. And it doesn’t take long to figure out that particular journalists always plug a certain view you disagree with, and avoid them.
    nick recently posted..Nothing personal

    • Yes, here in India, the honest journalism appears to be mostly in our Indian language media whereas the elite that is the target for the English media, is the one that is most rabid in its bias. There is a reason for this which is the fact that it grew up and benefited from the Indian National Congress led governments for decades but now has to live with the local language speaking BJP in power. In any case, the fact still remains that in any language, the social media is far more influential than the mass media today.

  2. shackman says:

    Nearly if not all media has a bias. That’s not so bad if they still offer both sides of a story. Unfortunately often thes days that is not thje case. Woe be the individual that single sources his news and informtion. The truth is out there – you just have to dig for it.
    shackman recently posted..Media Bias LBC 9/22/2017

  3. Kaitlin says:

    I found your comment about social media very interesting. It is fascinating how we have changed in being able to access information. I do believe the truth is out there if you dig hard enough. I also believe you can find any answer you want, so finding a balance of information is important.

    • I dig before I accept anything from the mass media and I increasingly find that that are usually more than one truth out there. Makes forming opinions rather difficult now a days with conflicting loyalties producing volume and noise.

  4. Looney says:

    My understanding is that the western notion of an honest, unbiased media developed mid 20th century when the hard left achieved a near monopoly on the media outlets, the government and academia. They were honest and unbiased by their own definition, while any opinion that deviated too far was silenced. The stranglehold on academia and government remains, but the internet is making a mockery of the media’s claims. There is still a long ways to go.
    Looney recently posted..Missing The Crocodile Hunter

    • Yes, the Internet has given social media a big boost and that drives information now. Mass media has its followers but the more discerning have other means of finding out the truth.

  5. I think true media bias is a product of more modern times and the need to keep feeding the monster that’s 24/7 news & TV. Back in the day we got news in 30 minute chunks and TV went off around 1AM. There was no time for bias, so we got the facts as we knew them, even if the facts weren’t true (even at 10 I didn’t believe the numbers being broadcast every Friday telling how many American soldiers were killed in Vietnam while my dad was there, and I turned out to be right). This tells me that bias is relatively new but fake news has always been around; maybe times aren’t so different after all.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Is Your Blog’s Content Easy To Understand?

  6. I’m not sure that social media solved the problem of fake news. Don’t forget all the Russian use of Facebook to influence our last election here: https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/25/facebook-russian-meddling-obama-zuckerberg/

    • I doubt very much that fake news can be completely eradicated. I however do believe that we can be careful about what to believe and facilities like Snopes are available to cross check.

  7. the sector about who’s the ruling party at anyone time, seems to be similar situation here…NZ is drifting down into appalling worldwide stats on many levels and most of it has occurred since the main party has ruled (even with MMP) – it had all the hallmarks they wouldn’t have a majority to start again, and even though it’s a slim majority they are still to be in power!

    of course, it’s compulsory to be enrolled to vote, but it’s not compulsory to vote! That maybe the problem…

    But also there seems to be this “follow the leader” kind of mentality. “I’ve always voted…xyz, why change?” Even if that might mean I’ll remain stuck in abc…

    Although, there was big change. Maori’s on average usually voted for the Maori party, they haven’t placed enough votes, and they haven’t reached the threshold to obtain any seats at all! Not even though the “list votes”

  8. Wisewebwoman says:

    Advertising revenue plays a huge role in media bias and even social media can shut down from advertising pressure. I’ve seen this up close and personal on Facebook with some groups advocating for rights.

    But on the whole I think vox publica has never been more heard/seen.
    Wisewebwoman recently posted..Chapters

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