MEDIA BIAS 7
Inmodern days, it has become difficult in America for citizens toobtain an open and objective viewpoint of the issues revolving aroundthem due to media bias. The reason for this is that media reportingis now characterized by inaccurate, omitted and distorted informationdelivered to the public by the news presenters (Roberts, 2016).According to the recent studies, the Americans believe that mediapersonalities facilitate these information barriers intentionally.Evidently, a survey conducted by the USA Today and First AmendmentCenter revealed that more than 75 percent of the American adultpopulation believe news media are intentionally biased in almost allevents leading to widely spread negative effects among the people(Scarry, 2015). Media bias presents a big challenge inequitabledelivery of service and promotion of social welfare among theAmerican people.
of the Issue
Mediabias is deeply rooted in the American history particularly in the1980s, the time of Chilton Williamson. In his realization, thepresentation of information as just facts cannot accomplish the goalof saving civilization (Thornton, 2011). Therefore, both the editorsand the writers of the news need to deliver the information in linewith the pattern or rhetorical opinions, those points towards aparticular direction that will effectively convince the intended juryor audience. Simply put, this was the historical rebirth of mediabias in a public forum (Roberts, 2016). Notably, the American mediabias has been greatly shaped as mainstream bias, liberal bias,conservative bias and the corporate bias based on the ideologicalstands and selected groups.
Mostrecent studies recognize the prejudice and of political influence asthe major causes of media bias. When a journalist reports a matterand adds an opinion, the news may sound one sided when all aspects ofthe information are not well covered (Guo & Lai, 2015). Moreimportantly, powerful business and political leaders may influencethe way these reporters in a way looking favorable to them (Thornton,2011). Other groups that have exhibited control over the media housesinclude the public relations firms and religious or racialorganizations.
Asresult of increased media bias, many things including people’strust in the government, news agencies and other large entities withenough influence to manipulate the media personals (Roberts, 2016).Additionally, the delivery of social services to the public remainscompromised while social justice is undermined (Thornton, 2011). More importantly, these biases influence people’s decisions andbehaviors even towards the policy formulation and implementation.
Analysisof the Media Biases Issue
Mediabias significantly involves the fetors that influence and conditionthe people’s perception, judgment, and communication about an issue(Shah, 2012). While social work seeks to promote people’s wellbeingin their social organization, media bias tends to undermine the corevalues on which delivery of social work operates. In this section,the paper seeks to analyze the way media bias relates to the corevalues of social works
SocialJustice.The core value of social justice requires social workers to challengeany form of injustice in the society especially to the vulnerable anddisadvantaged. In this case, the primary focus in social workincludes denouncing unemployment, poverty, and discrimination,thereby ensuring that people access equal resources, opportunities,information and participation in the decision-making (Shah, 2012).However, and in most cases, media bias tend to favor one side of thestory especially if it is in line with their opinions or those ofinfluential people in power. For instance, in the cases of classconflicts, media people may side with the class of wealthyindividuals thereby subjecting the poor into the unemployment andpoverty (Morgaine & Capous-Desyllas, 2015). With widespread mediabiases against a group of people, it becomes impossible for thedisadvantages to secure jobs or even obtain political support fordevelopment projects.
Theimportance of human relationships. Accordingto the social work ethics, human relationships with one another arenot only resourceful but also drivers for a change. In this case,social workers seek to strengthen these relationships and engage thekey players in a transformational process (Scarry, 2015). Similarly,media houses can play an important role in the restoration andstrengthen people’s relationship with the benefits of the community(Guo & Lai, 2015). For instance, instead of deliveringinformation that is one sided, the media personals can ensure thatpeople with different ideologies achieve a common ground fordevelopment. In this case, destructive human relationship,especially in political spheres, can be shunned off while othersespecially involving equitable distribution of resources, health andeducation are propagated and strengthened
Thedignity and worth of a person. Socialworkers are expected to promote human dignity and value of life. Inthis case, the important virtues include care, respect and beingmindful irrespective of people’s religion, race, and politicalaffiliation (Towns, 2015). The ethical purpose of this is to ensurethat all people afford basic needs, health, and protection throughthe personal services (Morgaine & Capous-Desyllas, 2015, p.52).Therefore, the establishment of charity organizations and settlementhouse movements was in pursuance of restoration and maintenance ofhuman dignity. However, in the real phase of the media bias, the goalof restoring the human dignity and value is undermined. For manyyears, the media presenters have sided with either the liberal or theconservative movements in their delivery of information. Notably, theracial factor has been a base in which the white media personalitiesderive their opinions against the black Americans (Towns, 2015).Consequently, the value of the marginalized or disadvantaged personssuch as the black Americans is lowered, and their dignity underminedwhen it comes to the provision of important amenities such as healthservices and protection.
Integrity.Ethically, social workers are required to promote the transparencyand trust in the promotion of wellbeing. In this case, they areexpected to behave in honest and trustworthy manner. Unfortunately,media bias tends to disobey these principles of social work. Whenonly one side of the story is given to the public, there is a highlikelihood that both transparency and the honesty are undermined.With adequate knowledge on the important issues, people finds thepresenters relieving biased report untrustworthy and unreliable inactivities targeted to advance community welfare such as policydevelopment (Morgaine & Capous-Desyllas, 2015, p.50). In thiscase, media biases discourage or derail the transparency andintegrity required in social work projects.
PersonalBelief and Behavior about Media Bias
Inmodern times, any bias is destructive to the well-being of people.With the expansion and advancement of technology, media bias hasbecome the most influential towards a particular response by thecitizens. In this similar ways, people can achieve the best socialprogress and development with proper use of the media. Suchdevelopment can refer those seeking to provide humanitarian supportto disaster or poverty-stricken communities, or those that seek tofacilitate proper governance through policy formulation andenforcement. According to Morgaine and Capous-Desyllas (2015), thevalues described in the social work ethics are effective in ensuringthat the marginalized communities or groups achieve the prescribedbasic needs including shelter, food, clothing, heath care, andeducation to achieve the same growth with other advantaged lot.
Inconclusion, media bias presents a fault in the American communitiesespecially when they greatly discourage political, economic or socialdevelopment. However, when appropriately delivered, information onimportant issues can facilitate eradication of poverty, crimes andinstead promote employment opportunities and governance. Social workplays an important role to open valuable opportunities for the poor,discriminated, and infected groups for better chances of recovery andsurvival. When both social bias and social work are looked from thesame window, they seem like two different things with conflictinginterests. However, the conflict between the two can be solvedthrough the adoption of the core values and concerns of social workin media activities for well-structured and developed communities.More importantly, government control through regulations that seekpromotion of people’s welfare, transparency and integrity cangreatly help address the issues brought by media bias.
Guo,W., & Lai, F. (2015). Media bias, slant regulation, and thepublic-interest media. Journalof Economics,114(3), 291-308. Doi: 10.1007/s00712-014-0396-2
Morgaine,K., & Capous-Desyllas, M. (2015). Anti-oppressivesocial work practice: Putting theory into action.
Roberts,H. (2016). ImplicitBias and Social Justice.OpenSociety Foundations.Retrieved 6 October 2016, fromhttps://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/implicit-bias-and-social-justice
Scarry,E. (2015). Poll:70 percent of Americans believe news media is intentionally biased.WashingtonExaminer.Retrieved 6 October 2016, fromhttp://www.washingtonexaminer.com/poll-70-percent-of-americans-believe-news-media-is-intentionally-biased/article/2567583
Shah,A. (2012). Mediain the United States — Global Issues.Globalissues.org.Retrieved 6 October 2016, fromhttp://www.globalissues.org/article/163/media-in-the-united-states
Thornton,B. (2011). ABrief History of Media Bias.HooverInstitution.Retrieved 6 October 2016, fromhttp://www.hoover.org/research/brief-history-media-bias
Towns,A. R. (2015). The (racial) biases of communication: rethinking mediaand blackness. SocialIdentities,21(5), 474-488. doi:10.1080/13504630.2015.1093469