News bias has negative effect on the country

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Andy Feinstein, Staff Writer

Oftentimes, media outlets and news sources seem to favor a political party or certain set of ideas, causing them to lose their credibility as a reliable source for particular audiences.

“When watching national television, like NBC and CNN, you will find two polar opposite viewpoints on the current state of politics.  Media bias is all over today’s society and is unfortunately taking over social media as well.  When the news is one-sided, this disallows you to form your own opinion,” said junior Jasper Abrahams.

When different media sources favor a specific party or ideal, they attract people who share similar beliefs and their supporters will view them as a credible source.  Meanwhile, those who hold opposing ideals will disengage from this source.  Instead, the opposing group will listen to their own separate source which supports their beliefs, furthering the division in American politics.  This idea of confirmation bias brings up a highly-debated topic of how people get and follow their news.  Whenever someone supports their ideologies, they listen to confirm their thought process is accurate and legitimate.  However, this has created a tremendous separation, as some people can no longer tell the difference between reality and fictionality.  When challenged by a different source that goes against your views, it will lead you to believe that the particular news coverage is incorrect.

The normality of this news bias has gotten to the point where many people are unaware that what they are seeing and listening to may not be factual.  This is due to the fact that many people are so set on their beliefs that they will tune into or read the same news source, time after time, without thinking of how they could possibly be wrong.  However, although these people follow this source of mainstream media without hesitating, they are oftentimes misled through biased information.

Nowadays, bias has made it even more difficult for someone who wants to read strictly unbiased global news.  Finding an unbiased newspaper article is hard.  This difficulty is a result of news sources adjusting the story or idea slightly, to tailor their work to specific viewers.  This has paved the way for far-right channels, such as Newsmax and One American News (OAN) to emerge, as well as channels, like CNN, to become more liberal.

“Media executives, journalists, producers and writers should not be in the business of skewing the facts to push their own agenda and sensationalize news.  They are losing our trust and should make changes to report objectively, be transparent of their political leanings and clearly delineate between hard news and entertainment,” said Michael L. Smith and Paso Robles in The Tribune

This media skewing has become the norm, causing enormous political division throughout our nation.  The continued bias of political movements throughout the past year have been extremely prevalent and harmful. 

Many governors have held briefings regarding COVID-19 on a daily basis with new data on positivity rates, hospitalizations, and deaths being made public.  Although these numbers are reported from the health facilities themselves, the news outlets provide their viewers with a twist by using these numbers to convey a message that aligns with their political views.  At this stage in the progression of the virus, with more people dying each day than ever before, it is ridiculous that news stations have continued to twist statistics or the CDC guidance.

Overall, widespread misunderstandings have been spewed as a result of the differing sides.  Instead of polarizing the COVID-19 pandemic like these outlets did, the country should have come together in a time where unity is needed.  The news, in general, should have more respect for the science, as spreading the truth is the only way to combat the record daily cases.  The bias of these networks provided a magnificent separation, in which public health, in a time of emergency, became a mere political game.  If this had not been the case and the news networks, no matter which side they seemingly align with, had come together, presented the facts and tried to promote unity without blaming the opposing party’s leaders, this country would not have failed the American people in respect to containing the coronavirus.

It has been days since the insurrection at the United States Capitol.  On Jan. 6, the day Congress was set to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of extremist Republicans, supporting President Donald Trump’s plea for the overturning of the election, flocked to the nation’s capital from all over the nation.  These people wrongly believed that the election had been stolen because of President Trump’s absurd preachings.  Violence soon erupted when a group of extremists smashed their way into the Capitol building, interrupting Congress’ session.  Evidence of white supremacists posing on Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence’s desks have been spread, causing major outcry throughout the nation.  News channels around the country have shown these upsetting, provoking films day after day.  Some conservative channels such as Fox News have called this dangerous insurrection a protest, whereas left-leaning channels such as PBS has called this an act of domestic terrorism.

“News bias is bad for our country because the news is supposed to inform people about what’s going on in the world.  Today, a bunch of the news tends to be fake and nobody knows what’s true and what’s false,” said junior Sophia Kingsley.

Overall, news bias around the nation is something that must be resolved to be more national unity.  News sources should provide their viewers with unbiased facts so our country can once again become unified.