An inconvenient truth: There is no absolute truth
The idea of unbiased media is but a mere fantasy people use as a scapegoat for their lack of knowledge on current situations.
Unbiased media is a romantic thought about as realistic as the fairytales you were told as a child. Unbiased media doesn’t exist. It’s as simple as that, and it’s OK.
However, what’s not OK is the idea of villainizing the media for being so one-sided and overall just boycotting news entirely. You will never be able to pick up a piece of paper and read an unbiased story, because how the writing process is initiated inadvertently inserts bias to any article from the start.
Think about it. When you go to start any paper for class, you sit down, and you outline what information needs to be told to the reader. You decide what facts are most important. That’s bias. So, if you argue that you are boycotting news because of bias, why should a professor even take a look at your biased term paper?
Bias is human nature. It’s inserted into every single thing you’ll ever read.
Psychologists at Harvard, the University of Virginia and the University of Washington created “Project Implicit” to develop Hidden Bias Tests — called Implicit Association Tests, or IATs, in the academic world — to measure unconscious bias.
According to these studies, your willingness to examine your own possible biases is an important step in understanding the roots of stereotypes and prejudice in our society and especially in the media.
With these studies in mind, it is a moot point to write a piece of news off as wrong if you aren’t aware of your own personal bias clouding your vision whenever you take in any piece of information.
Do your research. Read about a specific topic covered by multiple news sources. Only then can you develop an educated opinion about a subject.
It is incredibly ignorant to read an article about a democratic politician covered by a conservative media outlet and just take it for face value.
Surely, some articles will be more blatantly clear about what side of the fence the writer finds himself on, but for the most part, no article will come with a disclaimer that states “warning: left-sided view coming your way.” It’s your job to turn on your bullshit detector and research a topic before you get heated in your Facebook statuses.
If I had a dollar for every time I logged onto Facebook and I saw an infuriated friend share an article about how a certain politician eats kittens for breakfast and they are just appalled that the American people would even allow something like this to happen, I would probably have close to the millions of tax dollars a certain other media source claims “xyz” candidate threw away to spite our nation.
Regardless of your political beliefs, the article you share on how Donald Trump is a racist who bathes in Mexican tears is just as inaccurate as the article that claims that Bernie Sanders flies coach; therefore, he is the perfect candidate for president.
It is not false that some sources do have hidden agendas and have a distinct reason for reporting the way they do. But, it is not unlike your hidden agenda when writing your paper on a rhetorical theory or any other topic that is assigned to you for class. Reporters often times get assigned a story just as you get assigned a homework assignment.
Learn to read in between the lines and develop your own view on things. Do not just take what I tell you I believe to be true as factual or anyone else who has access to a computer and an outlet that will publish their take on the news.
These are only my truths, not the world’s.
These are just my own opinions, my own bias. So, take what you like from this string of thoughts I’ve put together and draw your own conclusions. That’s the only thing we can do when reading another person’s written word.
Open your eyes. You are intelligent, ask questions and be a skeptic. You’re in college — start putting all those supposed millions of taxpayer dollars to use.