Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Opinionated News

Do you ever wonder when you are watching the news if what you’re hearing is true or exaggerated? Trust me it’s not true! The bias in the media has made our news opinion based instead of maintaining their neutrality. This has made the public poorly informed. Last year MSNBC, Fox News and CNN were tested on their opinionated comments for three days. MSNBC had 85% opinion 15% fact. Crazy, right? Fox News had 55% opinion with 45% fact and CNN had 45% opinion and 55% fact. But were these facts supporting their views? Of course they were Fox even admitted, “We offer opinions not seen anywhere else.” This is just me but shouldn't you say that you offer facts or quality something other than opinion? People want to feel that they can trust their facts.

Now if you happen to be a Republican, Conservative, or agreeing to the shutdown you may think that I’m picking on Fox a little bit. Some reporters are calling this era the “Foxification of News.” You could think this is outrageous and a crazy comment to a so called “fair and balanced” quality news show but just watch this clip and you may believe me. I was surprised at how they viewed a Democrat being elected for president, John Kerry, they thought of it as “unthinkable” for it to happen. Okay, now that’s out of the way, let’s go to the government shutdown. The problem is that the public is being poorly informed of why this shutdown is happening. The Obama administration had passed a law for affordable healthcare A.C.A act. The Republicans didn’t agree with some of the details about this new law so they threatened to shut down the government and ultimately did resulting in hundreds of thousands government workers without pay for several weeks . The political press’s job is to hold one party (republicans) accountable for their actions and notify the public about what has happened. "Journalists have been suckered into embracing 'balance' and 'neutrality' at all costs," says Dan Froomkin from Aljazeera. The press is showing a bias from not holding a party responsible. Why Does the press choose not to hold the Republicans responsible?
Bias in the news is sometimes viewed as normal. Frederick Allen states “Every one of us is biased; we all like to hear news in a way that supports our own preexisting views”. The bad thing about newspapers is that they’re forced to use bias and or facts to support their opinion. If they don’t make their stories interesting the newspaper can’t exist because it won’t attract readers. One way to identify different types of bias is Commercial bias. The preference for exciting stories. So if there’s a US senator that dies the news would rather focus on Kim Kardashian's baby. Bad news bias. A child was kidnapped, raped and killed makes us drawn to read the rest of the stories.

It is our job as citizens to find trustworthy news information this is difficult because we all have a bias and we just need to match that with a news show. We pay a price for freedom in the US this is just one of those prices we pay. This is human nature we just want hear our views mirrored back at us.The CNN President claimed "In this day and age you should have a point of view, but not necessarily one that's rooted in knee-jerk ideology.” I agree with this quote because everyone has bias but not one that we’re born with or destined to have. The bias has made our news very unreliable.

We can all try to find reliable news but we must face that most of the things we hear in the news is either not true or exaggerated. PBS and Al Jazeera are two good examples of news programing trying to break the barrier of bias to transform our news and make the public more informed. So think twice when you see a outrageous news headline and check your sources to find out why this story is so important. That’s what will do and I hope you will too.

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Update: November 14, 2013

This project has really made me realize if what I hear on the news is real or just what they want me to either hear or think. This has definitely changed my mind on what the news shows are trying to do which is to make us notice them and hopefully watch again. This is a great  idea because it will make people notice you but it also makes the american public a lot less informed on the current issues facing our world today. An example is maybe the pope approves twerking but a plane crashed in Norway killing two thousand civilians. This helped clarify this issue because I didn't know all the types of bias and who targets who with different biases in the news. I was also able to realize how serious this issue is because it has become so hard to find news that is not opinionated. I did had to do a little extra research to prove that Fox News's bias does work because their ratings are very high so people are obviously are buying into their bias. I enjoyed the writing of blogging because you can write like you're having a conversation so it comes much more naturally than a paper which has more guidelines. I also think that with the writing style of blogs people are able to connect with you better because of the personal touch being put on the writing. Blogging is a way to share your ideas with the whole world safely and effectively. I enjoyed this project and might even do some more blogging in my free time.

8 comments:

  1. I am interested in the breakdown in opinionated vs. fact news reporting stats you have posted. I think the 85% rating given MSNBC is misleading as many of their shows are not listed as News shows. Then shows like Rachel Maddow is boycotted by the republican party in general with very few exceptions.
    Then there is Fox they do have some shows like MSNBC--but much more is bracketed as a News program with the running thread of news below the programming. Any time questioned about their misrepresentations they say they are an entertainment programmer so facts are out the window.
    With so much information a click away it is often possible to read many views on the same subject and viewing other news sources is important--but clearly lying to your viewers should trump bias ...don't you think?

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    1. Hi Anonymous,
      Thanks for your comment as it proposed a great question.
      I do think that lying trumps bias but, lying is easier to call out bias is not. When it comes to the news there is no excuse to tell your viewers lies. Bias is a very tricky subject as it is viewed in many ways. It just matters on the persons political views, race, sexual orientation etc.So for an answer to your question lying defineitly trumps bias but it's easier to detect and an easy way to lose viewers. Fox News can get away with bias because they clearly offer Republican and right wing ideas and because of the vast number of republicans in our country we reason with it's ideas as referenced by media lite as the most watched news show on tuesdays (http://www.mediaite.com/tv/tuesday-cable-news-ratings-fox-beats-cnn-and-msnbc-combined-in-demo-and-total-viewers/)

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  2. Hi rudybasketball22,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog. In your blog you included facts about how much of the media is based on opinion and how much is based on fact. I found it crazy that 85% of msnbc is based on opinion. I watch the news about once a week so i found this very interesting. Thanks for sharing!
    -Josh

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  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  4. Dear rudybasketball22,
    This is very interesting. I have always wondered if what I hear on the news is true and if they tell the whole story or not. I guess now know. I always new that fox news was a sham though, like you said. I was wondering what news sites you would recommend as trustworthy?

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    1. Hey wonderfulperson,
      Thank you for your contribution. I recommend just our local Komo (http://www.komonews.com/) or King (http://www.king5.com/) news shows because they are so small that they won't really be influencing peoples views. I think that now it is best to just hear your news from a local channel because they don't receive the funding to make up lies and opinionated ideas for an hour show.

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  5. There is an interesting article in the Nov. 12 issue of the Washington Post about CBS news misreporting the raid on the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya. It relates to your point on new bias. The article is titled "cbs-news-and-reporter-lara-logan-face-brutal-criticism-on-flawed-benghazi-report."

    The reporter is accused of trying to appeal to a Fox-news type audience with the story. ---Mrs. Riches

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  6. Hello rudybasketball22! Doing a search on the bias in NPR reporting, I found a great article in the Columbia Journalism Review, “Does NPR Have a Liberal Bias?” In the comments, there is a reference to a study done by UCLA in 2011 that disproved the assumption that NPR is more liberal than, say, the Good MOrning America or The Today Show. If it does, in fact reflect the mainstream of American news viewers, do you think it should receive government support? The idea is that news outlets that do not have to depend on being popular will do a better job presenting unbiased or fair news. I am interested in your opinion on this. Thank you for a very thought provoking post.

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