Media bias

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Media bias refers to the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of which events and stories are reported and how they are covered. The term "media bias" implies a pervasive or widespread bias contravening the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist or article. The direction and degree of media bias in various countries is widely disputed.

Practical limitations to media neutrality include the inability of journalists to report all available stories and facts, and the requirement that selected facts be linked into a coherent narrative.[1] Since it is impossible to report everything, selectivity is inevitable. Government influence, including overt and covert censorship, biases the media in some countries. Market forces that result in a biased presentation include the ownership of the news source, concentration of media ownership, the selection of staff, the preferences of an intended audience, and pressure from advertisers.

There are a number of national and international watchdog groups that report on bias in the media.

Contents

Types of bias

The most commonly discussed forms of bias occur when the media support or attack a particular political party, candidate, or ideology, but other common forms of bias include

  • Advertising bias, when stories are selected or slanted to please advertisers.
  • Corporate bias, when stories are selected or slanted to please corporate owners of media.

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