In contemporary America and across the globe, there has been an increasing concern and widespread practice of bias in the media, especially when discussing politics. The media has altered to become an undeniable influence in current times thanks to easy use and convenient accessibility.
Politics is undergoing a complete media transformation thanks to the incorporation of bias, which continues to infiltrate the sources that are accessed by the average American. Therefore, elections and the assessment of political candidates on mass scales are heavily impacted when voters consider the information provided through a plethora of news outlets.
An article originating from NewsBiasExplored.com discusses the most archetypal ways that media bias permeates the news, through the utilization of word choice, errors, the reduction of debate, design of the story, and the exclusion of select sources.
Scholars have also recorded that due to the complexities of media bias and the media’s methods of expressing information, observers generally have difficulty determining the consistencies with fairness or unfairness that are attributed to certain candidates or political parties.
According to a recent survey performed by Pew Research Center, well over half of Twitter users receive news on Twitter. In comparison to Facebook, Twitter has a smaller conglomeration of users which has allowed Facebook to rein supreme as the most prominent social media base for accessing news. Furthermore, the study documented that the majority of social media news’ consumers only read the news on one site. Without expanding their news sources, users are only putting themselves at a disadvantage because they are failing to compare and contrast sites to one another.
Using multiple sources increases credibility and attempts to preclude political bias. Understanding the political preferences of an audience can also be important for connecting information and what is included and excluded, which comes down to personalization of media apps.
Additionally, a mere six media companies now control about 90 percent of what viewers, read, watch, and listen to. This solidification of control only further leads to the consolidation of media bias on a mass scale which magnifies the risk for intentional bias and the exposure of bias to viewers.
Moreover, 40 percent of voters were recorded to be most influenced by personal characteristics of political candidates, which seemingly held more significance than both their policies and governmental plans once elected.
Clearly, as we have entered the modern era, media bias has snowballed into an unstoppable phenomenon that continues to entangle news and the politics it generates. Our Founding Fathers ardently believed that a literate and educated citizenry was necessary to the virtuous functioning of democracy and that the news’ media — our fourth estate – is imperative to providing it.
As the 2020 Presidential Election approaches, I advise all voters, young people in particular, to be wary of the tactics used by the media to sway opinions and the implications that follow.