Thursday, February 5, 2015

Can We Trust the News Anymore?

In recent years, the media and specifically news networks have been able to change millions of people's opinions and views on certain racial issues with their more than lacking coverage on them. The media has  manipulated everything such as what is said and what is shown which eventually affects you the viewer. A study from George Washington University proved and stated that "Blacks and Latinos are more likely than whites to appear as lawbreakers in the news - particularly when the news is focusing on violent crime"(Powell) They have also specifically controlled who is questioned and talked to to give a result that the target viewer will understand, like and relate to more. This kind of coverage can affect millions with their main source of opinion, idea and truths coming from the media. So, how much does the media actually affect what is covered and how does that affect the public? Many media outlets choose to report on the racial issues in ways that will help them and appeal to the viewers, which can really affect how the public thinks, argues and acts on certain racial issues that are reported on or covered.

The thesis above is true since many reports as well the analysis of those reports have evidence of the media not correctly covering a story since they aren’t asking helpful questions or discussing informative ideas, but simply arguing about things that will prove their or their demographic's point. From the point of view of Eric Deggans, a TV and news analyst from NPR, the reporters become so obsessed with proving their point that the important questions that will help many to better understand and think about racial issues better are not even asked.(Deggans) During a (Meet the Press) report for example, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had said that white police officers wouldn’t be in the black neighborhoods if the people in those neighborhoods weren’t killing each other so much, which later would’ve started up an argument and discussion about just the violence occuring within the neighborhoods and whether that has an effect, which is way too broad. The reporter had said this even when he didn’t ask the correct and helpful questions that would be able to teach everyone fully on the racial issue that was being reported. Those helpful questions include the effects of poverty, gangs, and drug enforcement on the rate of crime in those areas. So, instead of doing their job and reporting on the news, which includes having conversations that aren’t always arguments but informative conversations, they have unhelpful arguments and discussions that do not teach or inform anyone an unbiased point of view. This improper coverage of racial issues, is very personal to me since I too watch the news not thinking that there will be a heavy bias, and I am now distant to continue since they are nearly lying to the viewer when doing this. Their coverage,which can lead to much bigger problems, can be influenced by the need to please the audience and get more viewers as well as to prove an individual point in the argument and even much more. (Deggans)

As well as not discussing the issues properly the media controls what is eventually shown on the news. They may show certain angles of riots, fights or protests just to show a large dramatic side to an issue so they can get in viewers even though there is much more to a racial issue than just the violence. A panel done by reporters at CNN perfectly discusses this issue of only showing certain things for viewers and all that of the things that can come with it. All of this specific footage being shown for a specific reason this can really lead to affect the public and how they think of that issue. The coverage of the Ferguson trial, according to Al Jazeera, was very centered on only the violent and riot aspect of the situation as that was what was considered more gripping and interesting to watch. Footage of a news team shows them getting in the way of a police team just to get what would’ve been a dramatic shot that would’ve made the issue look more violent than it was. In reality, the real purpose of that coverage was supposed to show the actual jury decision on the case. The decision was the biggest part of the issue but was only barely reported on by most of the media sources there. Also, the people that are chosen to be interviewed and speak on behalf of an issue are manipulated by the media as well. With the reports on 9/11 came an observation that showed how the media was picking only the white subjects to question as they would be answering according to what most people watching might agree with and relate to.

Although there is lots of evidence out there to prove this, there are still some who could have a con argument to mine. Some might say that the media outlets and news networks are able to report on the issues as they want to as they have the freedom of press and speech. According to a study done recently in 2005 by a student attending the University of California, even though the news networks, like Fox News, are still biased in many ways, there are now more people filtering out the bias and detecting it due to other reports from other news channels. It also showed that there are far more fewer people still watching the Fox News Network regularly. As well, the other news and media outlets available are more often used and more trustworthy with unbiased reports since they are getting a wider variety of people as well as opinions who have seen had different things. Social medias would be very good to get a collective voice heard.

To that, I think that even though the few media sources that are still watched and trusted for the reports on racial issues and much more still have the obligation to report the news straightforward and as it is, so that those looking for the information can get the correct information. Also, reporting on it correctly will help not to insult those families and people involved. Even if they have an opinion to express or viewers to appease, they still can, but their priority is to report the news as it really is and not think of just themselves and their viewers. It may have been on purpose and has gone unnoticed until now, but the amount of bias and manipulation in the news has gone out of control and can really affect those involved, those hoping to learn more and those who either want to help or oppose the issue.

In conclusion, the current state of some major news sources have gone too far into reporting biased, manipulated and controlled racial issue news that will appeal to those viewers that the source wants to. Although, a social media site like Twitter would be good as it has way more educated and hopefully unbiased voices than the mainstream media. Also, those that watch the news’ perspective will be off as it has been biased and manipulated from the news that they watch which can cause unfair and uneducated decision making and arguments for many. Many simple and effective solutions come to mind which could help to improve this issue and lots of the coverage of racial issues in media. For the media to become completely unbiased when reporting on very critical and very important racial issues may take awhile but it is important to create a more educated society and community


After analyzing my blog closer and reading comments that gave me feedback as well as more information, I’ve learned a lot. My opinion still hasn’t changed that the media is manipulating what is shown to the audience and said which is effecting the viewers and public everywhere with biased information. Even though all of the comments gave support and agreed with what I had to say in my blog, I was still able to see even more perspectives on this situation. They helped me to clarify my stance and idea of the issue as it showed that I wasn’t the only one with that opinion. From those comments alone I have been able to learn more information that would've been very helpful and useful to make my blog better and clearer. Even though I thought I had known the situation pretty well, the feedback helped me to learn even more on it. I learned more about how the media bias can eventually spread around the world through social media and even affect even more ethnic groups. I also learned more about how there is a growing double standard that’s a direct result from this issue. That information and more like it could’ve helped to make my essay more intriguing and interesting to other readers which will also help to get the issue at hand out faster. In order to even reply to those comments, I needed to do further research which was very eye-opening. From this specific blog I’ve learned a lot about blogging and all of the research and hard work that can go into them. This experience will also help me to expand my writing and research skills for future projects.



  1. You have made some very relevant observations considering the recent events in Ferguson, Paul S.! The news coverage you mention has prompted more discussion about bias in news coverage, including this article in the LA Times about confirmation bias. There is a long history of perceiving black men, in particular, in a negative way and then interpreting (and reporting) all events based on that bias. Add to this your observation that people choose news to watch that reinforces their already well-established beliefs and it is clear how difficult it will be to escape from these prejudices. Thank you for posting your observations on this crisis in the news.--Ms. Riches

    1. Hi Janes Riches and thank you for your comment and input on my blog! I too agree that there is a long history to all of this bias of racial issues and it's been effecting people for a very long time. Also that for those that are being targeted it is hard to escape as their long established ideas are being backed up by "trustworthy" sources. I have even found from an article that shows all of this bias contributing to a double standard that has been created and that too has been effecting people. Thank you for your comment!

  2. Paul S. thank you for putting forth some a few facts on this subject! It has really been eye opening as to what goes on behind the media (news) that we see today. One question I have about this subject is how this affects the group the bias is coming against themselves, even if they do not recognize it. One article that had caught my attention was this one on how it has effected hispanic ethnic groups. What really caught my eye in this article is that it went as far even as to call this bias "hate crimes." Thank you again for relaying more information on this subjects!

    1. The statistics shared in that article are compelling, Jonathan. "In one survey of stereotypes held by 900 non-Latinos, 88 percent said that Hispanics take jobs from Americans, 92 percent said they refuse to learn English and 80 percent believe Hispanics are on welfare. When asked how Latinos are portrayed in TV and film roles, 71 percent said as a criminal and 64 percent as a gardener." It would seem that stereotypical portayals are indeed having an extremely negative impact.

    2. Thank you for your comment and contribution Jonathan! I'm glad i could open you up to see what the news has been doing lately and how they can affect us the viewers. As for your question, I think that those that are giving the bias are affected since the ideas that they have and believe will not be true and will eventually spread to effect others and maybe even backfire with the other ethnic groups hating them for their beliefs. One of the videos that is linked in my blog discusses this topic and to me it seems as though those that are giving out obviously biased information for whatever reason they are do not have as much respect and are not trusted afterwards. Thank you for your informative link and comment!

  3. Paul S. you bring up some great points in this article. I whole heartedly agree that news and media coverage has become so biased. I think that especially in the light of the Ferguson trial as well as the trial in New York, the media is simply looking for what will grab people's attention, not what the actual facts are. How do you believe that this media coverage is affecting how not just the US, but the entirety of the world in the matter of race relations? Do you believe that this is helping to perpetuate idea all over the world or just here in America? Thanks!

    1. Pansexual Princess, thank you so much for commenting and I'm glad that you agree with some of the points that I made! For your question, I believe that it is effecting them less than the US but in similar ways as they get an outside and hopefully unbiased perspective. It can also effect those that are being prejudiced for religious regions if people from the US don't fully understand the situation as the media is definitely helping to spread a lot of their bias. Just one report from a new source like Fox that is biased could easily spread to countries all over the world with social media tools like Twitter allowing people to spread biased ideas on the internet.

  4. Paul S.
    You did really well on putting out your opinion on something that America knows is true, but just denies it anyways. I think you use the recent case of Ferguson to your advantage really well. Current events are talked about all the time in classes, how do you those events are given a different lens, if you will, in a classroom setting? Do you think that teachers and other people of authority try to push their views onto their younger counterparts? Overall, good job on creating a post that provokes thinking. Thanks!

    1. Hi km, thank you for your input and agreement on my blog topic. For the classroom things can be much different, there a lot of people and opinions represented as well as access to a lot of different articles and resources to contribute to one polished conclusion. I don't think teachers have such authority to strongly bring in opinion or bias but they do have the authority to allow their students the freedom to find the information they want or need to make an opinion. An article caught my attention that goes over this bias in school and how people can deal with it in order to create a safe environment for others to learn correctly. Thank you for your questions as well as your input and comment!


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