Bias in the Media; Bias in our Lives

Photo by Create.OU,edu

Photo by Create.OU,edu

Editor’s Note: The following is an op-ed piece.

We live in a world where media bias is a reality. Despite news organizations stating that they are not biased towards the right or left wings of politics, it is plain to see that this is not the truth. It is not surprising that the US is rated No. 49 on the list of press freedom out of a total of 180 countries by Reports Without Borders, an international organization that works to create free press all over the world.

You might be wondering why this is such a big deal. People select their favorite news stations based on personal preference. They want to hear their own opinions reflected back at them. Taking a step back for a broader perspective could change your point of view rather quickly. People need every point of view in order to form accurate and honest opinions and decisions.

With mass amounts of social media celebrities spouting their own thoughts and rants, it is hard not to be pulled in. Questioning what is right/wrong and what is true/false is often difficult. People have the right to develop their own opinions, rather than relying on major news stations, such as MSNBC and FOX, to persuade them. With all points of view equally considered, a truer democracy could develop.

People also need the truth on matters such as national security, human rights, gun control, and other important national news stories that affect our country immensely. An informed public ensures a safe public. It also ensures that citizens are better informed before entering the voting booth. Delivering the news in an honest way can guarantee well-educated votes, which in turn, can lead to less corruption and dishonesty in the government.

When you seriously think about it, honesty in the news is essential. Sometimes the news that we want to hear is not the news that we need to hear. The most entertaining version of the story just might not be the full version of the story.

This is not a difficult problem to fix, as much can be done to fix the bias that is present in the media. While there are unspoken labels placed on news organizations as to whether they are left or right wing, viewers are clearly aware of the bias that their news is based on. One possibility to fix this would be to require news organizations to report on all of the angles presented on a story. Doing this would present the views of all political standpoints, as well as all of the facts on the issue. This way, readers have all possible opinions on an issue that could be used to form their own.

As citizens, we trust our news organizations to tell us what we need to know. This is an important responsibility for journalists. Rather than being sidetracked by the prospect of what is fun to watch or read, citizens must acknowledge what is happening in our world and receive this information in an honest way.

By doing so, a well-educated, safe, and stable community is ensured. The future of news can only be improved and relied upon if we recognize these problems and work hard to fix them.

Bias in the media is a big problem, but it can and should be fixed. A world where Donald Trump is given fair and equal coverage on MSNBC, and Hillary Clinton gets fair and equal coverage on FOX News, is a goal that our media organizations should strive to accomplish.