Media Bias

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by Kazmarov, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    Do you think there is an overall bias in the American media? What examples can you give to support this?
     

  2. Turbo

    Turbo Registered Member

    As someone who went to school for television production and has been freelancing, albeit one show a year, that this statement is very true.

    Take the election. Bush's rating was the lowest ever and Republicans were highly disliked by the country. This resulted in much more coverage for the democratic candidate than republican. Which in turn influenced the vote results.

    Also, because the record industry is hung up on putting money into one hit wonders and rappers, rock music gets put on the back burner. There's less of it on TV and radio yet it survives decades and crosses generations unlike most pop and rap which only appeals to the generation it was created for and stays wirh them as they age.
     
  3. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    That's not exactly the definition of bias. Given that bias is unfair discrimination, and there were some legitimate reasons for showing the party with higher approval ratings rather than the one that was highly disliked, I couldn't exactly call it 'bias'. It's certainly unequal, and particularly on a presidential level is could be seen as unfair, but I don't wholly believe that is 'bias'.
     
  4. Turbo

    Turbo Registered Member

    I see your pont Kaz, but most news broadcasts gave Obama double the air time of McCain. As an impartial service of the society the news is supposed to give a down the middle un-biased airing. Which would mean equal amounts of airtime.
     
  5. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    But McCain had been around for twenty years, been involved in several heavily-covered pieces of legislation, and already ran for President. Most of his policies had already been covered during the Bush administration news cycles. Obama was new- hell, did you see the stats on how many people were unsure about him. The idea that equal airtime constitutes 'fairness' is absurd. There are always mitigating factors.
     
  6. Turbo

    Turbo Registered Member

    I agree on mitigating factors. The problem arises in news when you have to put newsworthy over inbiased. In this case it was more newsworthy to promote a young wet-behind the ears senator then an experienced goverment individual that was unfortunately connected to the party that had a poor decision maker in the white house.

    Bias is a tricky factor in media because it varies from different aspects. Rock music has lasted years with bands still making great albums years later but you see little of it on MTV because the music industry put so much behind rap and pop that rock and metal struggle at every turn. But because pop and rap is ratings right now, rock and metal are left in the cold.
     
  7. Stab-o-Matic5000

    Stab-o-Matic5000 Cutting Edge in Murder

    That's all economics though. Media companies are businesses, after all. They're going to go with what will make them money. The core question here is whether the media has an agenda, not whether it favors one thing over another for ratings purposes.

    Personally, I don't think you can make a blanket statement such as "The media is liberally biased." Sure, some media outlets could be liberally biased, and others could be conservatively biased. Fox News definitely has a conservative bent to it, though one has to wonder if that's based on an agenda or if it's catering to a specific section of the market. Television is such a ratings driven business that I have a hard time thinking that any successful television media outlet can survive solely based on pushing an agenda. However, newspapers, magazines, and radio shows could definitely have a bias, and I would argue that some in fact do. Rush Limbaugh is most definitely has a conservative bias, but that brings up the question of whether we consider Rush Limbaugh a media outlet, or just one guy who happens to have a radio show.
     
  8. Turbo

    Turbo Registered Member

    You could use the same outlook on Al Sharpton as you do Rush. I think its obvious that there are those in the industry who use the medium as a way to get their agenda to the masses. And on a subconscience level it has in turn cause most media outlets to either be biased or appear biased, which is hard to distinguish between.
     
  9. Stab-o-Matic5000

    Stab-o-Matic5000 Cutting Edge in Murder

    Right, I merely used Rush Limbaugh because he was the first guy who I thought of. Personally, I can only consider a media source to be biased unless they are actively seeking to push an agenda onto the public. For instance, I don't think Fox News is conservatively biased, merely that they are catering to conservative America. Bill O'Reilly is a conservatively biased pundit, but I would hazard a guess that Fox News mainly uses him because he brings in ratings.
     
  10. Kazmarov

    Kazmarov For a Free Scotland

    Of course, all this is tied into the modern media complex- has the diversification of media been beneficial or hurtful? In the era of the Big 3 networks had to trump each other in broad news- now with so many outlets nobody can hope to do that, so they go for niche appeal.

    An interesting sidenote- what's the most reputable modern media outlet? The BBC. What's the most dispassionate American outlet? PBS and NPR. It seems that government-funded media gets the job done a lot more neutrally than stations like MSNBC or Fox.
     

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