Is Your News Organization Biased?

How do you get your daily news? Do you know if you are bring influenced by their inherent biases?

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)

CNN

MSNBC

Fox News

Associated Press

BBC News

Breitbart

The Young Turks

Huffington Post

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.

Comments (16)
No. 1-16
FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

I happen to like ND, so I can afford to be frank.

ThreePatriots
ThreePatriots

Editor

@FelixCulpa hahaha!! Great response!

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

I doubt it would make money and I'm not even sure it'd be possible. Look at the Discovery Channel; I'm old enough to remember when it was pretty new and the overwhelming majority of the programming was science and fact based. Now 30 years on, despite good intentions, it's devolved into tripe like Amish Mafia, Street Outlaws, Moonshiners, Casino Secrets, and Demolition Theater. I suspect that any attempt at "pure news" would lose money for two reasons. 1) Because most people want to be told what to think. A news show without a clear partisan or ideological slant would force people to make choices based on their own morality, and quite a few of those people wouldn't be sufficiently articulate to defend those choices when asked why. It's much simpler to be able to parrot a commentator and say "because group X is obviously biased" or "because this is clearly a violation of Y". It's understandable too, since most folks really don't give a rat's ass as long as they're able to make the mortgage, put food on the table, and pay down their credit cards a bit each month. 2) To make money you have to attract advertisers. To attract advertisers you need to appeal to a large or particularly desirable demographic. To appeal to a large demographic you need to embrace the lowest common denominator. An unbiased presentation of facts that allows people to form their own conclusions and think for themselves may appeal to a desirable demographic, but I'm skeptical that it's sufficiently desirable to be economically viable. As far as demographic size goes, I'm willing to bet you'd sell more product by running an hour of cat memes (America's Funniest Home Videos anyone?) than you would by spending money on unbiased news. Oh, and as sort of an afterthought, if you're truly unbiased and decide to print or air "pure news" you're highly likely to p**s off everybody who's not, since one day you'll be with, and the next against any given group. At best you'll get a reputation for truthfulness, a wikipedia stub about you, and end up doing the weekly news recap on Sundays at some local station in East Overshoe, North Dakota. If you're lucky.

isobel_j
isobel_j

I'm trying balanced views from all corners now. My biggest wish though is for a NEW NETWORK to rise from all these division to be truly in the center and not favoring propaganda. JUST NEWS. There would be opinion but they'd be second to news. Would something like that be profitable here?

ThreePatriots
ThreePatriots

Editor

You have us here at Political Storm! :) But I would personally suggest floating on both sides of the boat. View some CNN, view some FoxNews, use other sources as well, but be cognizant that many of them are trying to influence your own personal views.

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

Oh don't worry, I'd never mistake Tucker Carlson for news. My point is that while almost from the jump quite a lot of the news is chosen for the facts it contains. It is perfectly possible to report nothing but facts and still be partisan. For example: If I were to print: Donald Trump says of Mexican immigrants "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists" I'd be printing the truth, but whether I choose to make it a headline, put it above the fold or below, and how long I make keep it on the website would obviously be indicators of what my stance on Trump (or at least his comments) is.

The Subjective Truth
The Subjective Truth

I cringe on most political spectrum discussions, it's like watching a Skinner Box experiment where people get emotional rewards by choosing the truth that matches their opinion. The CNN/FoxNews example is a good example of differing agencies viewing facts as only one ingredient of the news. Just add a few spices and voila!- making Hannibal Lector your nominee for Secretary of State becomes "America takes huge step forward for people with eating disorders". Truth has been an abstract concept since John 18:38. Is it a thing of substance? Does it exist only as the opposite of a falsehood? Is it a quality? There is only one absolute, universal fixed truth- Barry Bonds record of 73 home runs needs an asterisk next to it..

ThreePatriots
ThreePatriots

Editor

@FelixCulpa don’t confuse news shows with political commentary shows. Tucker runs a show that is not a reporting of news, but a current affairs format where he chooses a few items and gives his own personal commentary on them. This includes having people on his show and having a discussion on the personal viewpoints. Those types of programs are not what this article is about.

FelixCulpa
FelixCulpa

Y'all do know that "news", while perhaps factual of itself, is not chosen for the impartiality or information value of it's content right? It's clickbait to sell advertising space. I won't lie, Tucker Carlson makes my skin crawl and I hate watching him ask a question of a guest then badger and talk over them before they get 2 sentences out in response. By the same token, though I read CNN consistently I don't place much credence in the opinion sections of their news either. Personally I make sure I read BBC first in the morning for a global perspective (and for the Humberside crime blotter), then check out other sites like Foreign Policy.com. The major bureaus are your best source for actual, real news. Once they sell it on, and their customers "analyze" and spin that news you might as well be watching a movie since entertainment value is about all that's left, or right about it.

Pat Greer
Pat Greer

Editor

Awesome. And yes, love the research here. There was a great news piece done by Al Jazeera where they discussed the privitization of American news. This privitization has lead to our media being less about representing both sides of the political spectrum, but being more about 'talk' and getting views. This has turned us into a country of talking heads created to rile up the masses into angrily tuning in for views. In my opinion its reckless and irresponsible. Sean Hannity is the more egregious example of this. I remember foaming at the mouth mad at Bill O'Reilly for how he used to play this card, then watching him during interviews on other shows and seeing this methodical well thought out man and realizing the game that was being played on his show. The media does this to get us angry and get views unfortunately.

TheObjectivePodcast
TheObjectivePodcast

Editor

Patriots, really nice work on this piece. I love the way you lay it out. I agree that using multiple news outlets that place differently on the spectrum is very important in helping form opinions. That comparison between the Fox and CNN coverage on the day of the Maryland shooting is very telling. Out of all the news I watch, I watch Fox least. Not because I take issue with them, but because I want to be challenged! Good work yet again. Cheers

ThreePatriots
ThreePatriots

Editor

First and foremost, an understanding of each other's viewpoints would go a long way to finding compromise in some situations. Obviously, there are hot button issues where neither side will want to give, but there are many situations that common ground can be found. When you are reading news from hyper-partisan sites like NowThis News or InfoWars, you will be extremely skewed by their biases. It's not intended to change one's views from the right or the left, but to make you a well-informed thinker.

Jon Saltzman
Jon Saltzman

Editor

So what would happen do you think, if people actually read news and opinion from all sides and found the truth...?



ThreePatriots
EditorThreePatriots
New Comment
11
TheLibertarianLight
EditorTheLibertarianLight
New Comment
10
TheLibertarianLight
EditorTheLibertarianLight
New Comment
11
Whiskey Congress
EditorWhiskey Congress
New Comment
9
ThreePatriots
EditorThreePatriots
New Comment
8
Whiskey Congress
EditorWhiskey Congress
New Comment
9
blakes__take
blakes__take
New Comment
8
ThreePatriots
EditorThreePatriots
New Comment
8
Dirk Droll
EditorDirk Droll
New Comment
9
blakes__take
Editorblakes__take
New Comment
13