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July 15, 2013 / C H Thompson

Bias in media reporting?

a reportEveryday thousands of news stories are made available to newsrooms. These stories can be categorised into local, national or international news. Naturally it’s impossible to report on every issues, therefore journalists select the most appropriate content. From this we can see the news is manufactured for consumption (the audience is seen as consumers) just like any other product. The challenge for journalists is to be objective in their selection of what ‘to’ and what ‘not’ to report on.

Journalistic objectivity can refer to fairness, disinterestedness, factuality, and non-partisanship, but journalists try to encompasses all of these qualities in their reporting. In contrast bias means reporting on an issue or subject in a one-sided way to the extent other points of view are ignored or misrepresented.

Political commentator Noam Chomsky discusses his book Manufacturing Consent which examines the social mechanisms which undermine objectivity in the news.

As a means of discovering whether news content is objective or biased sociologists have identified several processes which decide the content of media news.

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