Bias in Modern Media

No one can deny the influence of the media in our modern society. It keeps the populace informed and hopefully well-educated. However, many would agree that, depending on the source, news can be heavily biased in one direction or another. The media’s portrayal of certain events can easily influence an individual’s viewpoint. In our largely democratic society, this impact is readily observable in the nation’s collective decision-making and opinion-forming process.

Media is perhaps the largest contributor of these influenced decisions. Everywhere we look we see examples of how the media has impacted our society. On a somewhat reversed view, it seems that many people are growing tired of the common ‘white cop shot black man’ narrative. Some even go so far as to say that this is just another example of ‘reverse racism’. But in all actuality there is no such thing as reverse racism. Sure, derogatory comments about white people can be somewhat offensive, but this is nothing in comparison to the constant depreciative stream of thoughts, words, and actions directed towards people of color. The fact of the matter is you cannot be oppressive towards the oppressors.

This idea that white people are constantly being discriminated against is mirrored, and even encouraged, by the media. It often seems that the most biased of all media and news-reporting incidents occur when there are stories dealing with race relations. Often times it appears that not every writer is fully conscious of the residuum their words have on society’s attitude towards a subject.

A prime example of this erroneous ideology is the Chapel Hill Shooting. Many people weren’t aware of the extent of the incident, and, those that were, largely ignored the issue due to the fact that it was a white man that shot and killed three Muslim individuals. The reality is that if the individuals were reversed, a Muslim man shooting three white people, it would be a top news story for weeks.

If this were the case, an entire group of people, an entire ethnicity, race, culture, would’ve been held responsible for the actions of one ‘terrorist’. Instead the white man’s shooting was depicted as nothing more than a scuffle over a parking spot. In response to this example Alice Harrington, of Acton, was shocked and immediately called for equality in news representation. She exclaimed “I never even heard of that!” and followed up by adding, “The media should be more fair in the way that it covers all news stories, regardless of skin color.”

Another individual, who wishes to remain anonymous, commented, “I don’t agree with what the media says when they try to justify the incident by discriminatory stereotypes…[it shows that] our society hasn’t matured, for people to still be going back to racial profiling.” He found it shocking that the maturity level of such an industrial country is so much lower than most people believe, and that the way the media represents issues such as these negatively contributes to that partially juvenile state of mind.

Perhaps the furthering of these racial stereotypes comes down to the fact that the media of today is looking for a way to make a statement, and can’t find another method than by using race to create an inflammatory story. If this is the case, and I do believe it is, then perhaps journalists as a whole should reexamine their profession. Because it should be about delivering the news and information, not about furthering stereotypes and serving up gossip.

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