Media Bias and Fake News: How to Study Media in a Post-Truth Age

We live in a highly technologized world. Technology is everywhere. We have phones that help us be connected with people from all over the world. We have a television that helps us be updated with local and international news. We have cars and planes that help us travel from one place to another. We have educational platforms that help us expand our knowledge and hone our skills. We have social media platforms and a lot of media outlets that promote civil movements, and changes in society, but also disseminate news and information that helps us know what happens around us. 

Media has advanced and changed tremendously in the past couple of years and not necessarily in a good way. Media bias and fake news are real and, unfortunately, they impact people’s beliefs and behaviors. The truth is news media might seem a far-fetched thing to think about nowadays. Why is the media so biased? What are the types of media bias? Are media-biased articles normal nowadays? Let’s find out.

Media Bias and Fake News: How to Study Media in a Post-Truth Age

What Is Media Bias?

A bias can be conscious or unconscious, but most of the time it falls in the latter category. A bias is a belief about a specific group or thing that affects your behavior. It is your tendency to choose something over another thing and this direction can be influenced by a lot of factors. It can be the environment you grew up in, it can be the culture or society you live in, and it can be the education you got. However, media bias is persistent in the news environment of today and we need to take a look at it. Journalists and media outlets tend to select the stories they want to make public, but also the way they choose to make them public. The way they choose storytelling, to present the characters and how everything happened. 

Students who are getting an education in college and studying public relations, journalism, or media know this too well. It would be a nice idea to look for an interesting media bias essay to find out more about media bias, an idea explored in an essay by an expert. There are many research papers on fake news, but an argumentative thesis statement too will help you delve more into this topic. You can find many examples online that explore these topics, as media bias is a real thing we all need to be aware of. The main issue with media bias is that they might make you believe things that are not true. 

One common media bias is that they choose to present sensational news. You will mostly see news about car accidents, about rapes, and crimes, and very few that actually show what happened positively in the world. Which might make you believe that the world is actually going to a worse place than before and that humanity has not evolved at all. But taking a look at statistics and research will show you that humanity has actually evolved and even though unfortunate things still happen, we are on the path of eradicating poverty and giving people a better life chance.  

How To Recognize Media Bias?

Knowing that media bias is so strong in today’s world makes you wonder how to spot the news that is actually presenting the truth. You know, journalists and the media need their stories to be shared and they use all kinds of strategies to do this, strategies that ultimately create a bias. So, there are a few tips and tricks you can apply to recognize media bias. 

  • Check the source

One of the most essential things is to check the source of the news. Who are the people the journalist refers to? Where did they find the information? Who gave the information to them? Are there companies, the government, or local people? 

  • The Point of View

Every story has more points of view, so you need to keep an eye on how the news is reported. Do they present the point of view of the government? Is the perspective of the people affected by the changes highlighted too? 

  • The Context

Always keep an eye out for the context. One of the things that help spread fake news nowadays is presenting details or information that lack context, so you can assume anything about the author. 

Final Thoughts

We live in a world dominated by fake news and media bias. And unfortunately, these affect our behaviors and thoughts and can only create tension between groups and individuals. Knowing that media bias and fake news are real is crucial. More important is to know how to spot them and how to analyze the news and information you come across online so that you can stay away from fake news.

Author: Dyka Smith

Dyka Smith is a content marketing professional at Inosocial, an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers. Previously, Dyka worked as a marketing manager for a tech software startup. She graduated with honors from Columbia University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.

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