As journalists it is easy to say we are objective even if we’re not; we are taught to be objective, so we think that we are.
As consumers, it is difficult see these biases because consumers tend to consume news that aligns with their own personal views.
Consumers often look to have their opinions reinforced rather than questioned.
Thus a circle of ignorance arises. A bias consumer hears bias news, which further bias thoughts.
Then finger pointing begins. Liberal consumers feel that conservative media outlets are bias but “know” that liberal media outlets are telling the entire story, while conservative consumers feel that liberal media outlets are objective and “know” that conservative media outlets have the whole story.
If mainstream journalism did its job and stayed objective, this cycle would be stopped as soon as the consumer checked the news.
The most frustrating part, as a journalist, is to know that much of the problem lies with poor journalism.
David Carr of New York Times wrote an article called, “It’s Not Just Political Districts. Our News Is Gerrymandered, Too.” Carr’s article discusses this same problem of bias media here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/12/business/media/when-our-news-is-gerrymandered-too.html?_r=3&.
In the article, Carr writes, “More often than not, when we tune in to cable or fire up the Web, we are staring into the mirror, not looking out a window. If we did look out a window, we’d see government officials talking past and around one another as they all fall down a flight of stairs, perhaps a perfect reflection of the people they represent.”
Carr articulates how consumers are unable to leave their own bubble of biases to better educate themselves.
As a whole journalists need to work towards a more objective state. To do that, it is important to forget personal opinions for the sake of the consumers.
Being objective is the only way to ensure consumers really make an informed decision.
Sometimes I feel this objectiveness has been lost because leaning one way or another will get better ratings.
Ratings and clicks have overtaken the original purpose of journalism.
In this day and age, when information is so readily accessible there is no excuse for uninformed or bias media.
It is time that media outlets change as a whole to better reflect the entire truth rather than the truth they choose to believe or the truth that will appeal to their audience.