Monday, May 9, 2011

Media Bias - Why be biased?

I chose to do my paper on the mosque near Ground Zero. I thought such a sensitive subject would enable me to find the bias easier. There were definitely biases on both sides of the political spectrum. But the thing that interested me most was the divide between Liberalism and Conservatism.

I read an interesting article where a Congressman described how Republican and Democratic congressmen can be friends, play a round of golf, go fight on the senate floor about an issue and then have dinner together all the while raising children together. As students who are trying to decipher bias, we need to be aware of the motive of bias. By antagonizing and distancing sides, the media creates a base for their product. In the end it is all about viewership and news sources need viewers/buyers. By creating a greater divide then there really is, the news cements their role in the lives of those who believe what they show. 

As students studying this bias, we need to be aware that often the rhetoric in which news outlets depict their news is meant to increase a divide that, relative to other countries and their political parties, is really minute.  


  1. The divide exists because people do not know of the camaraderie that exists between senators from different parties. The news focuses on the divide between them that exists when they are battling on the floor of congress while not mentioning the friendship that exists at all other times. By narrowing in on the divide, the media forces viewers to choose a side and support it by watching media outlets that support it. If the divide was removed because all people knew of the friendship, the rifts that exist will seem negligible and people will think that any news source will provide the necessary information. On the flip side, imagine if the media did focus on the camaraderie that existed. It would unify the populace which would lead to a better America.

  2. Well this may only apply to traditional media outlets. New media might be able to circumvent all that as it is based more on social networking than on a business like style of information proliferation, and would have no incentive to increase or even maintain this divide.

  3. Maybe, but the type of spin they put and who they target still depends on that divide.