Is Biased News Clogging your Information Stream?

Are you drinking out of a sewer? Sometimes, readers get bogged down in hearing only one side of a news story. For a fresh approach, readers should take in both sides of media, both liberal and conservative.

The infographic below, shows where sources lie in their bias. An astute reader would be better served to read less biased, or a balance between both sides, to make a fresh original decision. When we side with one bias, we tend to only hear more from that side because we like to hear that particular side. The problem with this practice, is that is causes a bigger divide in our country. Being less biased and more objective, is a mature way to confront news stories. But it takes effort to wade through the biases and make an informed decision.

News There are so many ways that people can attain news. Whether it’s online, a newspaper, or from television, news is easily accessible to anyone with a viewing device. People have different preferences when it comes to their news source: liberal or conservative and even how the news is being shared, digital or traditional news.

As you can see from the scale, there is the far left, far right and the “sweet spot” or as it is called here, the “Goldilocks Zone.” At the farthest left, is BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post. In contrast, on the far right is DRUDGE REPORT and BreitBart, two news websites. One of the least biased news sources, BBC, (British Broadcasting Corporation) provides online news, as well as nature documentaries.

It is tricky for a company to not be biased, but sites like PolitiFact, Snopes, FACTCHECK, or others are right in the middle with little room for bias. This is impressive and obviously atypical for a media company, especially a news company. Everyone should make an effort to be as unbiased as possible, so they can see the whole picture. When they see the whole picture, not only do they understand the differences in both sides, but they can think for themselves. If they only look for biased news, they are limiting themselves and clogging what might be the truth in the story. Viewing the news from one side, is like using half of the brain. Why wouldn’t you want to use all of your brain? In other words, you only get half of the information that you need from a biased source, compared to all of the information you could get from an unbiased source.

But bias isn’t the only thing wrong with the news. Many news stations and websites lie to get more viewers. Many of them take words out of context, make fun of someone or even make up whatever they want and call it news. The graphic below shows that when news companies deceive people and they find out, it causes a lack of trust in the viewers.

News

The graphic mentions clickbait, which many of us have heard that term, as it is an everyday word used on YouTube. Clickbait, refers to the false presentation of information solely for the benefit of the one who created it. For example, a YouTube video could be clickbait and the same with a news article. The purpose of clickbait, is to get the reader or viewer engaged in whatever is being presented to them. It combines the fishing term of putting bait on a hook, while also using the technological term for interacting with your computer while using a mouse. Clickbait is one of the most deceptive and clever tactics used by those who want to attract attention to a particular thing, especially using the internet. We may have heard of most of these, but may not know what propaganda is exactly. Propaganda is similar to clickbait, but with a biased twist to it.

So if we have all of this bias and misinformation in our media, why hasn’t anyone done anything about it? Is there even a solution to this problem? Let me know your thoughts about this serious issue.

-Calvin Cook

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