On Media Bias


On Media Bias

Let me begin by clearly stating my position on this topic. All forms of media bias are toxic when it comes to journalism. Journalism is intended to be the channel of truth to allow for discussion and disagreement over objective reality. Not a political cafeteria fight. The most critical situation currently is both sides of the spectrum’s willingness to tolerate untruths when they align with their side while attacking the same behavior from the opposition. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, needs to practice some humility. Unless you really apply time and critical thinking to your political perspective you are likely trapped in a constructed narrative. Fed to you by repetition in the us vs. them tournament format. Victory is the goal and both teams are using the behavior of the other as an excuse to sacrifice integrity. The formation of the United States coincided with the adoption of mass communication. The printing press run by people with political goals has fueled the conservative vs. progressive battle that has since raged. The names have changed over the years but the fundamental debate has always been the same. The old vs. the new. Tradition vs. change. The way it is now vs. the new way. Today the most consumed news sources are at war and both sides have their supporters believing that the other side is the only one being biased. Now it would be one thing if this war was being fought over politics but it is not. Politics is the battlefield but the endgame is ratings. Never forget this. If you are watching a media source with an advertising based profit model, meaning they show commercials, you are watching people cherry pick stories that will keep you from turning the channel. Period. So from this realization, I implore you to try to notice any time you have a reaction when watching the news. Please pay attention to the language they are using. Are you being informed or swayed? Are they telling you what happened or are they slipping in a suggestion on how to react? Do they slip in qualifying words like “unacceptable” or “outrageous”? This subtle difference is critical and will change your relationship with the news entirely. Immediately become skeptical when language telling you the appropriate reaction is woven in (and it almost ALWAYS is), and you will know a new freedom. I will continue with the topic of media bias in future articles analyzing specific tactics each side uses to dehumanize the others and maintain loyalty among their base. In the meantime please keep an ear and an eye out for ways people are trying to capture your attention and make you feel specific ways.

If we could read the secret history of our enemies we should find in each person’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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