Political Bias in the Media

Campaigning for the 2012 presidential election has begun.  Republican hopefuls are working to convince voters that they are the right choice to defeat President Obama, while the president is trying to convince everyone that he should remain in office.  In 2008, the Democratic and Republican parties shared some of the same beliefs on certain issues, but had opposing viewpoint on others.  Democrats were in favor of requirements to hire more women and minorities, repealing tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, and removing troops from Iraq.  Republicans were in favor of three strikes sentencing laws, taking steps to strengthen the economy and more anti-drug initiatives.  Both parties were in favor of limits on political campaign funds, and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.  The sentences above about the different parties were straightforward and un-biased, but it is difficult to find such information from one source.  You must be very careful in 2012 while selecting the information you are going to consider, regarding the candidates.  Beware of the agenda setters!

Certain types of media will tell you that the Republicans are money hungry classists who are only in favor of appeasing the rich, with the intent to modify tax laws in order to behoove large corporations.  Then, that same media outlet will likely show a documentary on the sub-prime mortgage crisis, featuring interviews with families in middle America who lost everything.  There will be a lot of content promoting public programs for the under-served, and illustrating the Democrats as the humanitarian party.  That media outlet selectively left out good points about the Republican party on purpose.  It is called agenda setting, and it is when the media controls the amount of exposure certain news gets.  The more exposure people get to certain types of news, the more important it becomes.  If messages about middle Americans losing everything reach you every day, it will become important to you because it will inadvertently be on your mind.  There could be a more pressing issue out there, but if it is not prominent in the media, how will you know?

You may be fooled into thinking that all Republicans are overly conservative and old-fashioned, and that Democrats are big spending and incautious if you don’t investigate for yourself. With regards to IMC, each party tends to portray the opposing side negatively. This poor image can potentially end a candidate’s campaign. With this in mind, it is up to the people to figure out which issues are important and research them from both angles. Ultimately,  politics can be quite biased, filled with false information and one-sided opinions. When you vote in this upcoming election remember: you cannot believe everything you hear or see.

-Stephanie Bakolia, Claire Outlaw, David Glaubach

2 thoughts on “Political Bias in the Media

  1. Politics, so far as the upcoming election is concerned, have become more about political party arguments and attacking one another. Actually, I find that politics in general have become more about pitting one person against another than really informing one another.

    Another piece of advice for those seeking their information in the media could be to base their opinions not off of a party platform but off of facts. Maybe double check the information that major news networks present with news articles found online. If you check a variety of sources, you might be able to find a healthy balance of facts and form an opinion on your own, all without the media bias.

    I find it sad though, that the news media has such a bias. Was it always this way? Or are media outlets being owned by corporations and individuals who cannot help but try and sway the public into their way of thinking?

  2. One of the problems with the general public is that we see it as our job to target the political parties that we disaffiliate with simply because they have been given this label by the media that holds unfavorable qualities. But the truth is exactly what is stated above. We have the media to blame for providing these biases geared toward either Republicans or Democrats. That’s their job though. It becomes our job not only as American citizens but as well-educated college students to weave our way through the news to understand to take it with a grain of salt. If a television station has a reputation for being “Republican-geared” then of course they’re going to be harsh on the Democratic party. The best suggestion that can be made for those watching is to perhaps try other channels not to get a second opinion on their party affiliation, but to help them realize it might be best to choose their favored candidate not because of party stereotypes, but by what they stand for. If the voting population does this then it could possibly have an affect on who holds the position as President for the better.

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