Mitigating Media Bias

Media bias means unfair news coverage schemes done intentionally or intrinsically by journalists and editors. From television to radio to print, the media impacts on everyone’s life. It is a source of information, education, and entertainment; and has both intentional and intrinsic biases. But the public can only take informed decisions when they get impartial news coverage, so it is very important to provide the public with principled news that can enlighten, engage, and inspire them. Both journalists and editors become biased when they incorporate some sources and news facts and ignore and leave out others.

Basically, the journalists are the foot soldiers of media outlets, and every one of them has a particular assignment pertaining to a specific beat (subject area). They research news stories, collect information, write final news reports, and pass them on to the editors. Then the editors refine the final reports, decide what gets reported, and release them to the public to have a better understanding regarding what happens in their settings and surroundings.

Picture by Canadian Encyclopedia

 Ethical, trained journalists are obligated to convey their news coverage in a fair and balanced manner, or else they lose credibility and integrity. Fairness is to look at more than one side of a news story because each story has more than one side; it can even have more than two sides. Actually, it is said that there are three sides to every story: my side, your side, and truth. Balance is to give an equal coverage to all sides involved in the individual news story. To clarify this point, fairness is when to interview two  individuals with opposing viewpoints involved in a news story; balance is when to give fifty percent of space for each individual. If these two principles are not fulfilled, then that particular news story is a biased one.

Another media bias takes place when the journalists select only news sources that suit their own liking. Without credible sources, it is impossible to impart impartial news stories to the general public. Therefore, every news report needs trustworthy sources that validate it. That is why the journalists invest an amble time in contacting sources, interviewing them, and quoting them for accuracy and authentication.

Yes, the journalists tend to attach their own beliefs in the news they disseminate. However, they must do their best to publish inclusive and accurate news. In fact, some journalists are more biased than others, for every journalist has a particular tendency towards someone or a certain issue, but the media bias ought to be mitigated to serve the public in the best possible manner.

If the media bias is left unchecked, people’s opinions get swayed to a certain direction, whether that direction is to their advantage or not. Of course, people’s perspectives are based on what they read, see, and hear. Hence, they deserve to consume fair and balanced news stories to reach informed decisions.

And it is the duty of news organizations and governments to train journalists and provide them with solid knowledge that reduces their biases, be they intentional or inbuilt ones. Those journalists who cannot abide by stipulated rules and regulations should be prevented from putting forth news.