40 Years of MTV
01 Apr 21
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Categories: Media and Photography, Undergradute
In light of the recent Prince Harry and Meghan Markle interview with Oprah Winfrey, media bias is something we’ve been discussing more and more. Below, we explore the role that bias plays in the media.
Understanding Media Bias
“Media bias” is the bias of news producers and journalists within the mass media; not only in the way in which stories are covered, but the selection of stories and events they choose to cover.
There is no better example right now than Piers Morgan. A lot of people believe Piers Morgan to be biased in his reporting of Harry and Meghan because he was hurt that Meghan stopped speaking to him after they had sparked up some form of friendship prior to her getting in a relationship with Prince Harry. Whether or not this is true, only Piers himself knows.
We can also see bias in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thoughts and feelings toward the pandemic and the current lockdown restrictions can influence news media in terms of the stories they choose to report and the tone/angle they take when reporting.
Is Media Bias Wrong?
Most people would agree that it is almost impossible to go through your entire media career without having a sense of bias in terms of the stories you choose to work on or the manner in which you report them. Is it possible to be 100 per cent objective at all times? Let’s say you have a choice of two stories. You may end up picking the one that you feel is more important, and that in itself is bias.
What is important here is determining when media bias is damaging, and this is something you will learn about in-depth while taking a media degree. Bias becomes damaging when you are suppressing facts, misrepresenting the facts, or just outright lying. For example, leaving out important facts because you want to promote a certain campaign would be deemed bias, and this is harmful reporting. Unless you’re writing an opinion piece, your job is to present the facts and let the reader or watcher make up their own mind, rather than trying to influence them by manipulating the information.
There’s only one way to make sure you don’t let bias get in the way of your craft: practice! By studying a mass communication degree, you will learn more about the impact of media bias, as well as the ‘rules’ that are in place when it comes to informing the public in a manner that upholds your responsibility as a person working in media.
Taking a digital media course at the University of Bolton
If you find the world of media fascinating and you want to be a part of it, the obvious place to start is by taking a digital media degree at the University of Bolton. At our friendly and inclusive university in Greater Manchester, you can develop all of the practical and creative expertise that is required to build a successful career in journalism and media.
Voted 1st in the North West of England for Teaching Quality in 2021 in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, you can be sure that you will benefit from a digital media course that is perfectly crafted to enable you to excel in your chosen career.
If you have any queries about taking a media degree at the University of Bolton, you can reach us on +44 (0)1204 900 600. You will also find lots of helpful information via our Help Centre.
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