As a Public Relations student, I am taught to understand that bias isn’t a bad thing. It’s not. I’ll admit it, a web source I enjoy reading is written from a left-leaning feminist perspective, and ultimately, has a goal other than straight news. However, I also read objective, AP-approved news to augment my understanding of today’s world.
Many of the things that we read in our day-to-day has some type of bias to it – advertisements, blogs, certain newspapers and certain news sources. And that’s fine, I don’t have to agree with the perspective that certain news sources project. The problem is when people don’t recognize the bias that their sources have. It honestly scares me that we have a president who doesn’t seem to realize that a major news provider in the US (Fox News) is more prone to put a positive spin on his politics. And even if he does realize it, publicly addressing a journalist from a very objective news source for their coverage of an event seems unfair (I would consider ABC to be the most neutral television station).
In ABC’s interview: “That speech, if you look at Fox, okay, I’ll mention you — we see what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches.”
There’s a danger in a president publicly favoring certain news sources over others – regardless of politics, we are all entitled to objective information. And with talks of moving the press corps out of the White House, it’s especially worrisome.
Also in ABC, Trump says: “It was great. People loved it. They loved it. They gave me a standing ovation for a long period of time. They never even sat down, most of them, during the speech. There was love in the room. You and other networks covered it very inaccurately. I hate to say this to you, and you probably won’t put it on, but turn on Fox and see how it was covered and see how people respond to that speech. That speech was a good speech. And you and a couple of other networks tried to downplay that speech. And it was very, very unfortunate that you did.”
Some may discuss how during Obama’s presidency, he may have been unkind to Fox News – which, while not a particularly objective and neutral news source, still isn’t inaccurate. So I went outside of my typical reading and looked at a conservative news source (Townhall) that found the things that Obama had said that were negative about Fox. While there were things he said slammed the news channel, none of them told a reporter for Fox that they were ‘inaccurate’ – there was critisism of the news source and disagreement on certain terms – and on the campaign for Clinton, he mentioned misinformation on certain blogs and Fox having possible impact on the election.
While attacking any news source as a politician isn’t a good thing (politicians and the press, I feel, should have a neutral and civil relationship) what I am especially concerned about is blatant favoritism of a particular news source.
Bias in news sources is an acceptable thing, reading for entertainment and companionship is part of the human experience. It’s why I watch Seth Meyers, it’s why I read Jezebel. Just be sure to recognize the biases in your news sources, and to read and take in objective information as well. Both sides of the aisle need to learn this lesson: there’s importance to not living in an echo chamber.