Bias in the News - Queen Anne's County Public Schools
Bias What do you already know about bias? What is bias anyway? Favoring one side, position, or belief being partial, prejudiced, Bias
Bias is prejudice; a preconceived judgment or an opinion formed without just grounds or sufficient knowledge What is biased language and what is not? Not biased, just an objective observation Frank spends very little money. Biased favorably: Frank is thrifty.
Biased unfavorably: Frank is a cheapskate. Can bias be found in the news? Consider these two sentences in a news story: 1. A crowd of more than 900 attended the protest. 2. Fewer than 1,000 showed up to protest. How could you say this in a neutral (unbiased) way?
http://www.bvallc.com/pensionblog/uploaded_images/Crowd-702052.jpg How to Detect Bias Everything you read or hear can be affected by bias : Why? Because who ever wrote it or said it is a person. People have their own Thoughts
Opinions Backgrounds. How to Detect Bias Bias isnt always on purpose sometimes it just creeps in! By looking for it, you can spot bias and
become a better reader and a better writer. Lets Look at Bias through Omission Placement Photos Names and titles Statistics Word Choice & Tone
Source Control 1. Bias through Omission Sometimes, certain facts or details will be cut out of a story, and others
will be included. This can change how readers or viewers think about the story. Make sure to read several different sources to get the full story! Bias through Omission A story can be written about people booing during a speech. The presidents remarks were greeted by loud jeers. A small handful of people
disagreed with the presidents remarks. http://media.cnsnews.com/resources/53412.jpg 2. Bias through placement Usually, the stories that are chosen to be put first are seen as more
important. Stories in the back of the paper or at the end of the news broadcast are seen as less important. 2. Bias through placement For example, if a story about the disaster in Samoa is on the front
page of the paper, it will be seen as more important. If the story about Samoa is buried at the back of the paper, it will be seen as less important. http://amhist.ist.unomaha.edu/module_files/Collage%20of%20Headlines.jpg 3. Bias through photos
Some photos can make the subject look serious, attractive, healthy, etc. and other photos can be really unflattering and make them look silly, ugly, sick, etc. The images of someone in the news can influence how we think about them. Bias by photos
Compare these Bias by photos to these! 4. Bias through names and titles The way a person is described or
labeled can influence how we think about them. Bias through names and titles John Doe, an ex-con, is now running for office. John Doe, who was convicted 20 years ago for a minor offense, is
now running for office. http://choosethecross.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/convict.png 5. Bias through Statistics Numbers and statistics can be manipulated to change the way we think about them.
Bias through Statistics The fundraiser for the school earned only $1,100. The schools successful fundraiser raised over $1,000. http://confettidreams.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/saving-money-clip-art.jpg
Bias in statistics In the way the sample is selected. For example, if you want to estimate how much holiday shopping people in the United States plan to do this year, and you take your clipboard and head out to a shopping mall on the day after Thanksgiving to ask customers about their shopping plans, you have bias in your sampling process. Your sample tends to favor those die-hard shoppers at that particular mall who were braving the massive crowds on that day known to
retailers and shoppers as Black Friday. In the way data are collected. Poll questions are a major source of bias. Because researchers are often looking for a particular result, the questions they ask can often reflect and lead to that expected result. For example, the issue of a tax levy to help support local schools is something every voter faces at one time or another. A poll question asking, Dont you think it would be a great investment in our future to
support the local schools? has a bit of bias. On the other hand, so does Arent you tired of paying money out of your pocket to educate other peoples children? Question wording can have a huge impact on results. 6. Bias through word choice
The words and tone the journalist uses can influence the story. Using positive or negative words can change how we feel about the news story. We can also be influenced by a news broadcasters tone of voice. Bias through word choice
The politician presented his wellthought out and intelligent plan to Congress. The politician presented his shoddy and disorganized plan to Congress. Word Choice Here are the headlines and lead paragraphs of two articles which came out on the morning of March 11, 2003. They are covering the same incident:
New York Times 3/11/2003 Iraq forces suspension of U.S. surveillance flights UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -Iraqi fighter jets threatened two American U-2 surveillance planes, forcing them to return and abort their mission and return to
base, senior U.S. officials said Tuesday. USA Today 3/11/2003 U.N. Withdraws U-2 Planes WASHINGTON (AP)-U.N. arms inspectors said Tuesday they had withdrawn two U-2 reconnaissance planes
over Iraq for safety reasons after Baghdad complained both aircraft were in the air simultaneously. Here are hockey game coverage headlines from the two home towns of the opposing teams: The Denver Post red wings 5, avalanche 3 Injury begins Avs' tumble The Detroit News
Red Wings 5, Avalanche 3 Wings are too much for Avalanche Article 1: http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E24761%257E1247763,00.html?search=filter Article 2: http://www.detnews.com/2003/wings/0303/15/sports-109480.htm http://school.mapleshade.org/ravizius/period7/Crossley-Joshua/red-wings.jpg 7. Bias, consider the source Where does the story originate?
Who is the source of the story? Whose point of view are you hearing or reading? Bias through controlling your sources How would the information look if you interviewed each team during a murder trial? What would happen if you only interviewed the prosecution for your article?
Defense team http://www.nvbar.org/LRE/courtroom4b.jpg Prosecuti ng team Bias through controlling your sources Sources are important! You cannot
always trust information from all sources. What influences bias? Geography Institutional Affiliation 1. Geography Our perception of everyday life can vary from country to country. Therefore our biases creep into what is reported.
Geographical Bias American Sources such as CNN have labeled the conflict the "War In Iraq" Arab sources such as Dar Al-Hayat regularly call the conflict the "War On Iraq"
2. Institutional Affiliations (who you work for or groups to which you belong) Who is paying the writer? Does the payer have a bias that the writer has to use? We see this in political groups and media that is liberal or conservative. The next 2 articles show the difference in 2 news companies and how they report. Media The internet While the internet is very low cost which
allows many people to publish news and articles, it also makes it easier for people with biases to put their view on the internet and makes it much harder for the reader to figure out what the bias may be. Unintentionally biased Sometimes non-essential words are used simply to make the language more colorful. Journalists are not just deceitful word jugglers, conspiring to make you think what they want you to believe. They are people who are trying to write to hold
onto a job. So, when being critical of word selection, be sure to keep it in perspective. The Red Wings played the Flyers last night in a hockey game and they won 4-3. The Red Wings executed a decisive win (4-3) over the tempered Flyers, in last nights heated game of ice hockey.
What is Tone? The authors attitude toward a subject, a character, or the reader which shows his/her bias Choice of words and details convey the tone. Examples: silly, sarcastic, angry, annoyed, dreamy,
proud, interested, bored Hunting, stalking, and killing of animals, has been an American tradition since early man lived here. Today it exists as a "sport". There is no longer an excuse or reason for stalking and killing an animal in his or her habitat. However, people continue to hunt animals today and they feel they have every right to continue to do so. Animals need to be protected from this attack by humans. #1
What What What What does the writer think about hunting? in the article allows you to infer that? are his views or his bias? information did he leave out? I remember my first hunting trip with my dad.
He taught me to aim and shoot straight. I remember how proud I was when I brought that first rabbit home and the family feasted on my "achievement". Today I continue to tramp through the fields or the woods. It brings back such fond memories of those trips with Dad. And I still get a feeling of satisfaction out of being able to bring something home--whether a small rabbit or a graceful deer. Hunting brings me great joy! I wish everyone had an opportunity to experience that feeling of accomplishment. #2
What What What What does the writer think about hunting? in the article allows you to infer that? are his views or his bias? information did he leave out? The author's purpose, or reason for
writing, affects the content of what he/she writes. As a reader, you need to become aware of that purpose so that you can evaluate the content of what the author is writing. In other words--YOU CAN'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ--Think about why the author is writing as you read for information. Now find some biases!
Flip through the newspaper and cut out examples of news stories, photos, and headlines that show bias. Detecting Bias
Look at the source. Who is telling the story? Be aware of the words the author chooses. Is the author telling just one side of the story? Analyze pictures for bias. Resources for this PPT
http://www.umich.edu/~newsbias/index.html http://www.mediaawareness.ca/english/teachers/ media_literacy/index.cfm "How to Detect Bias in the News | Handout." Media Awareness Network | Rseau ducation mdias. 6 Mar. 2008 . http://www.vnv.org.au/site/images/images/ 10reasonsveggo-animals.jpg http://www.huntinglegends.com/wpcontent/uploads/image/
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