Determining whether a media source is bias or unbiased can sometimes be a difficult thing. From
politics to products we use on a daily basis the media can change the facts or omit data in order to
achieve their intended message. Most media sources are generally trustworthy but they also will use
loaded words in order to influence the opinions and emotions to favor their or someone else’s interest.
Media should be truthful, honest, and unbiased in order to let people form their own opinions and
decisions. People can naturally distinguish between these perceptions, at times inferring bias without
inferring untrustworthiness (Wallace, L. E., et. al., 2019). Additionally, the role of media outlets is to
provide information that is impossible for people to gather and find out themselves. This information
should be clear and fact based with no underline goals or outcomes.
The proper dissemination and understanding of information is up to all personnel. Newspapers should
have the same standards across every outlet and they should be held accountable to these. Although
this is sometimes opinion based, media outlets need to ensure their information does not lean toward
being bias. They should focus on fact based data and avoid reporting that is lazy. They should only
report especially political news accurately in order to avoid someone else using their information and
twisting it to benefit others. The reality is that due to the recent events they will always be scrutinized
but making sure the information is fair and unbiased will breach that gap.
The United States has always suffered some type media bias and more so since 2016. As a result, the
previous election in the United States encountered untrustworthy opinions from both citizens and
media (Wallace, at al., 2019). Untrustworthiness and bias are two different elements facing the
American press. The main difference between the two aspects is that biased information contains an
independent negative effect on perceptions of the source. Both untrustworthiness and bias have
consequences because they promote false expectations among the participants or people receiving the
news (Wallace, at al., 2019). A group of researchers carried three different studies that where part of a
test for hypothesis indicated that all the studies crossed bias and untrustworthiness manipulations.
More than 500 participants were involved in facilitating the research. In addition, researchers examined
independent variables by determining the source of both bias and untrustworthiness in the media
reports (Wallace, at al., 2019).
The result indicated that mediation of bias and untrustworthiness could surprisingly influence members
of the public through the perception of information quality (Wallace, et al., 2019). Three additional
studies promoted implications that bias and untrustworthiness are distinct perceptions. Both
untrustworthiness and bias showed vicarious dissonance effects. Furthermore, they play a vital
theoretical role in self-oriented forms of dissonance (Wallace, et al., 2019). Media plays a significant
role in shaping public opinion and views. In the United States, media influenced the persistence of the
expectation gap in cooperative performances. Studies have revealed that various press articles entailed
information on corporates fraud. There were identified cases of deficient standards, deficient
performance, and an unreasonable expectation in the corporate world. In addition, the studies reveal
the primary role of the media in perpetuating the expectation gap and fraudulent behaviors.
Another scenario where media could be seen as bias is when an emergency incident occurs, control of
the message reaching members of the public are sometimes bias from mass media. It influences
internet-user generated content as well as the thought of a conspiracy theory, resulting in further
complication to the crisis. Different features attribute to a crisis such as uncertainty and disturbance
(Pinter, 2019). Pinter (2016) claims that there are two ways of analyzing such crisis; communication,
and Effective management. The media has promoted the crisis into becoming permanent topics among
members of the public. Media influence has directed opinions in different ways, in many cases the lack
of rapid intervention leads to distortion and misinterpretation of the crisis (Pinter, 2019). The conspiracy
theory and internet user-generated content imply that people have the power to share opinions with
the internet based society and in some occasion requires authorities to hold statements to promote
active and accurate investigation.
Types of media bias
There are eleven types of media bias. They include slant, bias by placement, the omission of source
attribution, bias by omission, flawed logic, spin, mind-reading, ad Hominem/mudslinging,
emotionalism/sensationalism, statements of opinions presented as facts, and unsubstantiated claims.
Journalists are tied to given ethical values and standards, which include impartiality and fairness,
accuracy and truth, and accountability. You cannot necessarily say bias to be a bad thing, but if it is
hidden in the media, it manipulates, misleads, and even creates division (Weeks et al., 2019). The
contemporary journalism, however, most of the times stray from the objective facts which result in
The use of social media
When it comes to conveying a message to millions of people, social media does that in just a matter of
minutes, and the word shall have reached the global population or its intended audience. In the
contemporary world, social media is used as a way of sharing ideologies and events that are important
to you and the other viewers. Whether your advert contains facts or deceptive messages, it does not
matter but will be conveyed to the required or rather targeted audience (Kim, 2018). In many cases,
social media platforms are used for advertising but most of the times are used to show what the person
posting want to reflect to its followers. This type of media bias is mostly used in politics.
Motives for the use of bias media
In many cases, the majority of trustworthy journalists often give room for their ideologies relating to
politics to sway their reporting. This can be a way of exploiting the audience or manipulating them into
thinking your motives and not the others (Pintér, 2018). According to research that has been
conducted, the leading cause of belief in bias media is a media explaining or telling the audience that a
given media is biased. Media biasness is essential in conveying to the audience your ideologies about a
given condition situation or event. Because people would have the idea about media biasness in a given
media, they tend to believe the other and their claims. This is also true to commerce and that they are
trying to sell you, yes companies due pay to advertise in all media outlets but sometimes the person
profiting from the product can ensure more of that product is shown thru out all venues.
Data collection and analysis
In social media, data is collected through determining how many followers you have and the number of
individuals that liked your post or reacted to it. A piece of the given information in the media no matter
how hostile or skewed it is will respond to the people. The response is the can be used as the data.
They can be analyzed to determine whether or not the information or the view will be supported or
rejected by what number of people (Lee et al., 2018). For instance, the number of likes would suggest
those that agreed with the opinions and the dislikes, the amount that disagreed with the whole idea.
Their comments – negative or positive can be used as the responses and it can lead to a change in the
opinion of the follower.
The more a media encounters a new subject, the more they are likely to shift their motives. It thus,
therefore, means that their opinions will vary whatsoever depending on the most reporting source
(Wallace et al., 2019). For instance, if a given media fails to get a report and or updates of the same,
they will seek a new subject which may not be in line with their previous opinions. The fact is, they still
have to report and thus to do so, they will have to change their subjects to suit their current source.
Most media sources adapt their stories to ensure that their message is rapidly talked about and
continue to give them the option of writing about it more. Most media outlets report current
information they just give you the facts that matter to them and not a broad subject.
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Media Bias.Communication Research Reports, 36(1), 35–44. doi: 10.1080/08824096.2018.1555659
Lee, T. K., Kim, Y., & Coe, K. (2018). When Social Media Become Hostile Media: An Experimental
Examination of News Sharing, Partisanship, and Follower Count. Mass Communication and Society,
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Pintér, D. G. (2018). Media Bias and the Role of User Generated Contents in Crisis Management: a CaseStudy about the Communication of the Hungarian Police Forces after 2016 Budapest Explosion. Corvinus
Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 9(1), 101–125. doi: 10.14267/cjssp.2018.1.05
Wallace, L. E., Wegener, D. T., & Petty, R. E. (2019). Supplemental Material for Influences of Source Bias
That Differ From Source Untrustworthiness: When Flip-Flopping Is More and Less Surprising. Journal of
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Weeks, B. E., Kim, D. H., Hahn, L. B., Diehl, T. H., & Kwak, N. (2019).Hostile Media Perceptions in the Age
of Social Media: Following Politicians, Emotions, and Perceptions of Media Bias.Journal of Broadcasting
& Electronic Media, 63(3), 374–392. doi: 10.1080/08838151.2019.1653069
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