How to Identify Bias in Political Media News
Political media news has bias. It’s sad that it’s now a given, but it can’t be helped. What can be helped by you and other viewers, readers, or users of the Internet is to stay vigilant and not let the bias on these “fair and balanced” news articles get in the way of your quest to stay informed and knowledgeable about the latest important news (instead of reading about the latest exploits of Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, or any other pop star in their desperate bid to stay in the limelight). In order to make sure that a given piece of media news is unbiased (or if you want different angles on the same story so that you can make up your mind on what happened by yourself instead of having a talking head decide for you what happened), you should research the history and reputation of the source of the news. Unbeknownst to you, you might be reading an Onion article or watching a Funny or Die video.
Satire, Yellow Journalism, or Intentionally Distorted News
If you didn’t know, the Onion is a satirical website creating “plausible” but fake news to make some political commentary or draw in hits and visitors by covering some trendy and interesting piece of news that everyone is currently obsessing about. Know more about the sites you visit before believing what they say. Even sites that don’t do parody and actually claim to be real media sites should be doubted. Take everything with a grain of salt.
Never take the word of a site as the biblical or scientific truth, or however you metaphorically categorize as objective truth. If a website has many ads, then feel free to doubt its veracity, since it could be making provocative titles and headlines for the sake of getting as many hits or clicks as possible. If the site is beholden by certain special interest groups or funded by a Scientology or Methodist Church advertisement, then doubt their motivation behind their articles.
Sometimes it pays to be cynical, especially when dealing with sites that depend on corporations, federal or local governments, or whatever agency is out there for their funding. What their sponsors say go, after all, and if that sponsor sees something printed that they don’t like, they have every right to pull their advertising for a certain site and whatnot. There are also times wherein a news source has an obvious political slant or agenda on their news stories. If it’s not an opinion piece and there’s a conclusion given to you, then it’s biased news reporting.