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Media Bias

Media bias is the bias or perceived bias of journalists, news producers, newspaper, news agencies, and television news networks within the mass media in the selection of events and stories that are reported and how they are covered.

The term “media bias” implies a pervasive or widespread intentional bias violating the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist.

The direction and degree of media bias in various countries is widely disputed. Government influence, including overt and covert censorship, biases the media in some countries, such as Burma, China, North Korea, Russia and South Africa. Some governments even have their own state sponsored media outlets with propaganda. Local governments and local law enforcement agencies can also involve media bias by using Facebook and Twitter to produce and disseminate propaganda while limiting or delaying information to media outlets, or playing favorites to news media agencies that cooperate with the desired message of the local government.

Market forces that result in a biased presentation include the ownership of the news source, concentration of media ownership, the selection of staff, the marketing preferences of an intended audience, intimidation by boycotters, and pressure from advertisers.

The most commonly discussed forms of bias occur when the media (allegedly partisan) supports or attacks a particular political party, candidate,or ideology.

Three forms of media bias are the most widely discussed or studied:

Coverage bias (also known as visibility bias), when actors or issues are more or less visible in the news.

Gatekeeping bias (also known as selectivity or selection bias), when stories are selected or deselected, sometimes on ideological grounds. Gatekeeping is sometimes also referred to as agenda bias, when the focus is on political actors (activists) and whether they are covered based on their preferred policy issues.

Statement bias (also known as tonality bias or presentation bias), when media coverage is slanted towards or against particular actors (e.g., activists) or issues.

Other forms of media bias …

Advertising bias, when stories are selected or slanted to please advertisers. Advertisers can succumb to customer boycotts demanding an advertiser stop business with a particular news media source.

Concision bias, a tendency to report views that can be summarized succinctly, preferable to more complicated, more comprehensive or unconventional views that take time to explain. With deadlines looming, complicated reports are more difficult and more time-consuming to report, and readers may be less likely to consume complicated pieces, resulting in lower readership.

Corporate bias occurs when stories are selected or slanted to please corporate owners of media.

Mainstream bias is a tendency to report what everyone else is reporting, and to avoid stories that will offend anyone. It takes much less energy and resources to re-publish syndicated material.

Sensationalism bias is the favor of the exceptional over the ordinary (man bites dog v. dog bites man), giving the impression that rare events, such as aircraft crashes, generate perception that air travel is more dangerous than highway travel.
Another example would be publishing or broadcasting an incident involving large fire department operations when a death or serious injury is involved, but skipping reporting the incident when a good outcome (with no other unusual circumstances or emotional pull) occurs with no death or injury.

Structural bias or ideological bias involves collective thought that disseminates news that asserts a unified collective voice that fits an underlying ideology. A theory can be tested for its ability to predict outcomes and behavior, but assertions of ideological bias do not analyze how well the theoretical model predicted an outcome.

Spiking refers to withholding a story from publication for reasons pertaining to its veracity (whether or not it conforms to the facts). Reasons for spiking include a clear bias (someone on an opposing side of an issue did not respond, despite the fact that said response is central to the story), a major hole (many, if not most, readers will have a question after reading the story), a sudden change in events (three more people have died, but getting details from officials is impossible on deadline), or suspicions of plagiarism or other ethical violations on the part of the author.

See also …
Accuracy in Media — aim.org

Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting — fair.org

Some of the content on this page is developed from aggregation of concepts from multiple authors on Wikipedia.

See also …
Wikipedia Media Bias

Wikipedia Spike (journalism)

Related Concepts …
Wikipedia Fake News

Propaganda

Yellow Journalism

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