Digging for truth in the news
By Puru Gajare
If you watch or read the news, you may have noticed that some media outlets are more upfront about their political opinions than others. When they are biased, however, their take on current events can directly affect the opinions of many people, including impressionable students like us. Students believe what they see, typically, and the bias of news networks changes their opinions on current events happening around the world.
Some students believe that this bias needs to be addressed because the media can be so influential in shaping opinion. And they are sharing their ideas to change things for the better. Akira Tamaoki, an 8th grader at Bay Farm School, says, “Biased articles should be allowed, but should be clearly marked as biased.” This could be a great solution but convincing networks to do this will be difficult. Most of the networks that are biased, are biased in almost all of their stories.
For example, Fox News, one of the largest news networks in the U.S., recently published stories about the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election. Their headlines included “Sorry Jim, you’re a liar,” and “Giuliani rips garbage investigation of Trump.” The headlines presented the investigation itself as dishonest and a waste of time. Fox News may have a reason to be biased, though, and that reason is not unintentional. Fox News’ former CEO, Roger Ailes, is a close friend of President Trump. He recently resigned over a scandal, but the bias remains.
Many newspapers endorse candidates during election cycles. Why would those companies not be biased in favor of the candidate they’ve endorsed?
Many readers of the news will notice this bias, but to be fair, it is extremely difficult to remove bias from the media. A student who didn’t want their name to be published said that, “What could happen is that, the writer of the story would have a belief and try to remove as much bias as they can, and then afterward an editor of the story who had a different belief would try to remove any leftover bias.”