When presenting the world with information, news agencies and anchors often present information in a way that aligns with their own personal beliefs. The issue that this presents is that when one interjects their personal opinions into the dissemination of world events, bias is clear, and that information becomes skewed.
Take a look at the chart below, developed by adfontesmedia.com:
Looking at the chart above, Ad Fortes Media divided different news agencies based on the value of the news presented and its reliability, along with the political leanings associated with the delivery of said news.
On their websites, Ad Fortes Media states that “Junk news is like junk food, and just like junk food has caused massive health epidemics in our country, junk news is causing a massive polarization epidemic”.
For example, The Jimmy Dore Show, a popular channel on YouTube with over one million subscribers, is classified as the most extreme left leaning platform on the chart. Patton Oswalt, a famous comedian stated about the show:
“Jimmy Dore is outrageous and outraged, bothersome and bothered. A crucial, profane, passionate voice for progressives and free-thinkers in 21st century America. Jimmy will anger you if you’re a conservative and enrage you if you’re a liberal.”
On the other side of the spectrum is Before It’s News, classified on the chart above on the Most Extreme Right of the spectrum, containing Inaccurate/Fabricated Info. Before It’s News claims to be “a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world”. Anyone can join this website and contribute. Due to this, information is not vetted for accuracy.
Popular news organizations like CNN and Fox News fall on the “skews left” and “skews right” side of the spectrum respectively, with a mix in reliability and analysis. Popular Libertarian organizations like Reason and the CATO Institute, while both skewing right, are closer aligned toward the middle than its other right-leaning counterparts.
Print news is also prevalent on this chart. The New York Times, The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal are just a few print news organizations shown on the chart. The top-rated news organizations, rated closest to the middle of the political spectrum and classified as Fact Reporting, are the Associated Press and Reuters.
In this technological age, misinformation can spread at a much faster pace than facts. This is clear with social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, where a single posting can be shared thousands, sometimes even millions of times in the span of just a few hours. A study by Soroush Vosoughi, a data scientist at the Massuchusets Institute of Technology, using a data set of over 120,000 news items shared millions of times, showed that people reached “the truth” about 1,000 times, while misinformation was reached roughly 10,000 times. Evidently, “Fake News” spreads roughly ten times faster than accurate news.
In P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking’s book “Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media”, the authors “explore the collision of war, politics, and social media, where the most important battles are now only a click away”. The authors explain the influence that social media now has over real-world events, often having geopolitical consequences.
The United States has grown increasingly polarized over the past decade. 24-hour news organizations drive this polarization, often to a point where radicalization can ensue. Opinion-based news lends itself to further polarization. Major news organizations, like CNN and Fox, are two examples of 24-hour news organizations that analyze the news based on political leanings. These organizations wield massive influence, and they use that influence to their advantage, producing segments that drive ratings instead of accurate fact-based reporting.
The golden era of journalism ended years ago. The era of Media Bias is here to stay.