Mass Media Influence? On the Voter?

If you follow multiple or at least a few news sources, or just a big fan of Jon Stewart, then you have probably heard some bashing about Fox News holding a biased right wing agenda. And of course, News Corp denies such claims. But lets not forget MSNBC who some commentators claim to have a left wing agenda or CNN which has been accused of both liberal and conservative bias.

Being accused of biases in the world of journalism is kind of like getting spit in the face. It’s pretty harsh. This is because one of the core ethics of journalism is objectivity or neutrality.

So what are some examples of media bias?

Well, media outlets such as ABC, NBC and CBS pushed a gross amount of positive reporting on Obama’s first 100 days. The man’s actions were truly pushing towards socialism and people who watched these networks failed to see that. Reporting is by no means supposed to lavish on one aspect of a story. During his run as the 2008 candidate, Obama was often portrayed in near religious imagery.

Rejoice my children. I come with Obamacare.

It appears that the majority of bias in the media leans toward the left. But there are examples of conservative bias as well. Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp, exerts his power and influence on Fox News.

How can such bias affect voters?

Portraying Obama as a messiah is a pretty obvious example. But so can doing subtle reporting about Obama and more on Romney hint towards bias. Conservative/Liberal bias in the media occurs when their ideas have undue influence on the coverage or selection of news stories.

There was also a study done in 2007 titled The Fox news effect, Media Bias and Voting where the researchers had observed Fox news was launched in 1996. In 2000, it was available to 20% of American homes. The study’s authors took advantage of the fact that not all cities had access to Fox News at the same time for technical reasons having nothing to do with their political orientation. They compared the changes in the proportion of Republican votes between the presidential elections of 1996 and 2000 in the cities receiving Fox News before 2000, and the cities that hadn’t received it yet. They concluded that Fox News caused an increase in the Republican vote of about a half percentage point, or 200,000 votes, enough to change the result of the 2000 presidential election.

What has been some effect on Romney by liberal bias? Seems that most of my peers view him as a snide and greedy man pursuant of abolishing women’s rights and pushing the homosexuals back into their closets.

Is it possible to avoid bias in the media?

As of right now, I could not tell you if it is possible. But here is what you can do, watch more news. And not just one news source either, in fact that is the worse thing anyone can do. I suggest that if you watch CNN, watch Fox News as well and see if you can find contrast between the two if they are reporting on the same topics (especially politics). Also, Twitter is probably one of the best sites for someone to get the news. Sources such as the Associated Press are constantly updating the news.

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One thought on “Mass Media Influence? On the Voter?

  1. Pingback: UK Media Struggling With Ethics, Should The US have a Watchdog? | mattbrunstetter

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