Is Your News Organization Biased?
When someone wants to know what is going on in the world, where do they turn? In previous decades, the answer would likely have been a newspaper. The events of the previous day were recorded in ink and then delivered to your door by a paperboy on a bike, or to the corner market where a quarter would unlock the machine and allow you to take a copy of the daily broadsheet. Those days, however, are fading fast with the advent of the internet, smart phones, social media and all-day news stations.
The morning ritual with a cup of joe and a copy of the headlines is coming to an end and being replaced with a grande caramel macchiato with soy, no whip and a cell phone, tablet or laptop (I literally have no idea what drink I just ordered, but I’ve heard it before, so don’t judge). Websites like CNN.com, FoxNews.com, MSNBC.com, BBC.com and the likes have become the source for most American’s daily news. When breaking news happens, many turn to social media sites like Facebook or Twitter for the most up-to-date information from people on the ground with firsthand information (although Facebook should not be on anyone’s “reliable source” list).
Which begs the question, what are your best news sources for up-to-date, accurate, and most importantly, least biased information? I frequently use multiple news networks for my source of news, so that I am less likely to get bogged down by the inherent bias that each network may present. Which leads me to the discovery I made on March 20th after the shooting at a Maryland High School, where the shooter pulled a handgun and shot what was presumed to be a former girlfriend, and striking another male student before he was confronted by an armed school resource officer, which ended the event. I personally took the following screenshots at the exact same time (as shown by the time stamps on each photo) from Fox News and CNN. This was approximately 8 hours after the shooting took place in Maryland (4:05PM EST for FoxNews, 3:06PM CST for CNN).
(And while we are at it, here's a plug for the ads on the screenshots. Black Rifle Coffee Company is some of the best coffee I've ever had.)
Anyone but me notice a HUGE difference in these two screenshots? Fox News was covering the breaking news out of Maryland in its top headline spot, as it was recently released that the shooter was the only one dead after a “good guy with a gun” confronted him. At the same time, CNN had decided that the story was no longer a top news worthy item and buried it in the 3rd column, halfway down the list.
Apparently, CNN had decided that determining whether the President has had sex with a porn star was more important for all their readers to know about than the actual current events going on in America. In fact, an analysis of their homepage during that screenshot shows exactly what they think is breaking news…
· Trump accuser sues media company that killed her story
· Judge lets ‘Apprentice’ contestant’s defamation case continue
· Is Stormy Daniels more media savvy than Trump?
· How Melania is handling Stormy Daniels news
· Evangelicals’ mulligan defense of Trump is ‘complete hypocrisy’ says former WH official who served under Regan and the Bushes
· Polygraph: Stormy Daniels was being truthful
· McCain: US Presidents don’t congratulate dictators after sham elections
· Trump: I congratulated Putin
· Sessions thanks Trump for his leadership
· Analysis: Trump is done playing nice
· Tapper to interview Comey
· Ex-Solicitor General Olson will not join Trump legal team
· Sanders is asked about Russia
· Republican Party quietly blocked Trump nominee
· Where in the world is Mark Zuckerberg? Frustrated Facebook execs are asking
· Analysis: How Mark Zuckerberg went from 2020 darling to political scourge
· Fed up with Facebook? Here’s how to protect your data
· Resource officer’s quick action stopped school shooter within seconds
· FBI: Confirmed link between packages and delivery office near Austin
· Pro-Syrian regime forces are gather near US troops
· Torpedoed US WWII warship found
Now, of all of those 21 headlines, what stands out? Maybe that 14 of the 21 had to do with President Trump and only 1 had to do with the breaking news of the school shooting? And only 1 other had to do with the developing news of the bombings occurring in Austin, Texas. It seems that CNN decided that since the events surrounding the school shooting do not fit into their liberal left narrative, they were going to hide the story at the bottom of the barrel. CNN cares less about bringing you relevant breaking news than they do about trying to bring down the current sitting President. Shameful.
So, what do you do about it? I suggest that you refrain from using 1 news organization as your source of news and headlines. Pick several to regularly visit and see what is going on. If you have liberal views, follow CNN or MSNBC, but flip over to Fox News every day and see what they are reporting on. And vice versa for those with conservative viewpoints. Periodically throw in other sites like APNews.com, or USAToday.com. In fact, there is a great resource to see where your particular news organization stands on the spectrum of bias… https://mediabiasfactcheck.com
Let’s take a look at some of the top websites for news and politics and see where they land on the Left to Right scale according to Media Bias Fact Check’s website.
Political Storm (shameless plug)
The Young Turks
Which news source do you use? Where does it fall on the Left to Right spectrum? Do you think the source of your news affects your perspective on many issues? Are you informed enough when it comes to many political issues with your personal news source?
To take it even further, using the data from Media Bias Fact Check’s website, I have compiled the following chart using some of the top and middle tier news organizations, based on their own inherent bias as well as their “Factual Reporting” rating.