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BIAS IN MEDIA OG guide OG GUIDE


Introduction (david Jaros) The media, the main source of information and news, is represented by newspapers, magazines and broadcasting. They are choosing which content they will tell us and how they will tell them. When we see the daily headlines television we can meet topics covering mainly sad subjects; murders, rapes or less important issues as new-born tiger in a zoo. Moreover there is a difference between articles posted in “Mladá Fronta” or in “Blesk”. Every company has different sources of their information and is writing to different type of people. Therefore the content of the news can be different and it is only up to us if we want to read funny and catchy articles, which can be wrong or if we do not mind reading sometimes longer but more informative and reliable articles. Another important part of every piece is photos. It’s for the reason that the majority of us before reading the article look at the pictures to have basic idea what the article will be about.

Now you are probably asking why do we want to tell you about these issues of the media bias. We want you to realize these partialities in the broadcasting because it will make you better reader as well as better consumer of information. Furthermore you can find it useful in your future studies, especially in English and TOK lessons. We made this guide for you to make your life easier. You will not have to look for this information on the internet and spend hours looking for the examples; you will just read our brochure. Lastly it will be an advantage for you to be aware of the media biases. From this time you will not be another blind reader, you will rather be a critical reader.


Content This brochure is going to focus on the topics:

Sources

Language

Photo bias

Stereotyping

Sensationalism

A lack of context

Leadership in the Media


SOURCES (Kristina benedetti) We are here to give you a guide! Be aware, that especially nowadays, when lots of types of magazines and newspapers are released into the world, some information might be far from the truth. The reason for this is that the certain news simply wants to be ´better´ than the other news and because people tend to exaggerate things. Surely everybody knows the media which you have to look at from the distance in order to get original message. Sources – reliable and credible! While you are reading an article announcing an ´exclusive information´ you might ask yourself: “Where does this information come from?” As the day flows, you have the possibility to read another articles about the same ´breaking news´ and you might start to think of which one is credible and which one is not. “Do they include a wide range of sources? Is there at least one reporter representing the information? Isn’t it biased with the undertone of the magazine?”


Be aware of not having there a variety of people – if there are three policemen, it does not mean that they have three different opinions When possible look at the references – often included in the magazines; give you the overview of the sources Gather many types of news! – In order to get the most objective information Read it again! For the further understanding of the article Simple guide to help you to find out if the article is truthful and reliable! Start with reading your article – that’s because you want to know what it is about. Conduct a simple search – find every person quoted in the article having their opinion mentioned there Find reporters – the most reliable sources of information, first-hand research experiences Primary sources – originate from people that were direct witnesses or who was the direct object of investigation Secondary sources – originates from the official police report, other people who pass the information on, or the commentators


May had planned to announce cabinet approval of her proposals before last Christmas, but she ran into strong Downing Street concerns that the move could leave the Tories looking "soft on crime". Nick Clegg, who chairs the cabinet's home affairs committee, is said to have backed May's package but it was not sufficient to end the standoff. May launched a consultation last July over her proposals to scale back the use of police stop-and-search powers and ensure their "fair and effective use". At the time, the home secretary said it was no longer sustainable that black people were still seven times more likely to be searched on the street than white people. She also said it had been seen as sharply divisive in Britain's black and minority ethnic communities. The home secretary, Theresa May, is due to make a Commons statement on the future of police stop-and-search powers, suggesting that her nine-month dispute with Downing Street over the issue has finally been resolved.


The Metropolitan and West Midlands police forces have already massively scaled back their use of stop and search as part of a successful pilot scheme using a more "intelligence-led approach". The more targeted approach saw the use of stop and search reduced by up to half and an increase in the "hit rate", the rate of detections and arrests, despite fewer searches on the street. Alan Travis, home affairs editor Consider for example this article about the dispute with Downing Street over police powers has been resolved. First of all, if you are following our little guide and searching for the people involved in this article, you will find about 4 representatives (we have highlighted them for you). This then might seems like a balanced overview with several opinions, which should provide an objective message. However, looking at it closely, you can spot two people from home affairs and two police forces integrated in the text. Moreover, both of these departments are from PR (public relations), giving it more subjective report, trying to persuade readers to take over their point of view. This is then even accentuated by the fact that it was written by the home affairs editor Alan Travis.


Language (Dominika kourilova)

Language In Theory of Knowledge class you were taught (or you will be) how powerful language is. Despite the fact it is one of the areas of knowing, language affects us every day – we use it, we hear it, we read it…it is a way how to express ourselves - the most precise one. However, people can really misuse it and influence yours thinking, perception and whole point of the message. Let’s have a look at examples so you better understand the problematic. We will consider two articles from two different websites talking about the same thing. The first article was published on Times for Israel, the second one on Boston news. The articles are talking about the bombarding in Israel in March 2014. Try to focus on the very first sentence in each article and recognize how they play with your mind just using a different sentence structure, different words. The underlined words change the information absolutely.


Rockets strike Israel, Gaza rockets batter south, jeopardizing truce talk testing ceasefire March 13, 2014/ Boston news By Adiv Sterman March 13, 2014/ Times for Israel JERUSALEM (AP) – The At least eight rockets were Palestinian militant group fried at southern Israel Islamic Jihad said Thursday it Thursday evening as a several had agreed to halt a wave of hour ceasefire declared between rocket fire on Israel, signalling Jerusalem and Islamic Jihad an end to the heaviest fighting threatened to unravel. between the sides since 2012, One missile, heading for a though soon after the populated are of Netivot, was announcement two rockets fired shot down by and Iron Dome from Gaza exploded inside Israel. anti-rocket battery, the IDF The Islamic Jihad denied it said. launched the attack and it wasn’t Five more missiles hit open immediately unclear who fired areas in Sderot, Shaar Hanegev the rockets. Cease-fire and Sdot Hanegev areas after 8 declarations have not always p.m. No injuries or damage been honoured by militants and were reported. the barrage raised doubts about Earlier in the evening, two the cease-fire offer made by rockets were launched at the Islamic Jihad. Ashkelon region, sending The Israeli military said a total of residents scurrying for shelter. four rockets were fired Both landed in open areas. Thursday from Gaza. Israeli Gazan terror groups Islamic officials previously refused to Jihad denied it launched the and it wasn’t confirm any cease-fire deal was attacks immediately unclear who fired in place. rockets. Cease-fire In two days of violence, militants the fired more than 60 rockets into declarations have not always Israeli, while Israel has carried been honoured by terror out a series of airstrikes in groups and the barrage raised Gaza. No serious casualties doubts about the ceasefire offer. have been reported.


Yes, these are really 2 articles talking about one occasion. Focus especially on underlined words or sentences that are mainly changing the information. This is one of the aspect that you are supposed to be careful about, when reading some article: Emotionally charged words – the level or type of emotionally coloured word changes your perception and understanding. Little difference in meaning changes the message. Examples of using different loaded words for the same action/subject:

Bureaucrat vs. public servant Pro-death vs. pro-choice Regime vs. government Elitist vs. expert Infanticide or child murder vs. abortion Put up with vs. tolerate Put at a loss vs. bewilder


Photo bias (Sara Ehrlichova) Photos are usually used in media (mostly newspaper and magazines) to illustrate specific situation, to provide the detail of the surrounding, to give us the context. However media take an advantage over using the photos to manipulate the reader to their intention. There are several most common ways how to manipulate the reader and create the bias in media. This includes: Artificially created situation in order to give false impressions or even to create a story that is not true Manipulating with photographs One of the most common examples of editing photos is the photo of Adnan Hajj. The photo on left side is edited with cloning tool from Photoshop; therefore it shows more intensive smoke and destruction in Beirut than the original picture on the right.


Misleading captions and information background about the photo In this case, good example is the photo published in New York Times. The caption of the photo said “The mayor of Tyre said that in the worst hit areas, bodies were still buried under the rubble, and he appealed to the Israelis to allow government authorities time to pull them out.” This indicates even from the photo that man lying on the ground is dead. However the same man that seems dead is just one minute earlier seen scrambling over debris in the same place. After many complaints, New York Times was forced to make a ‘correction’ over the caption of the photo, stating “A picture caption with an audio slide show on July 27 about an Israeli attack on a building in Tyre, Lebanon, imprecisely described the situation in the picture. The man pictured, who had been seen in previous images appearing to assist with the rescue effort, was injured during that rescue effort, not during the initial attack, and was not killed.”

Plus the correct description with the picture in the printed edition of The Times was stated “After an Israeli airstrike destroyed a building in Tyre, Lebanon, yesterday, one man helped another who had fallen and was hurt.”


Changing the perspectives and angles Changing the perspective of the photos is an easy way how to create the photo bias. As an example might be used the photo published in The Independent of Palestinian children pretending to be in an Israeli prison. The photo was actually taken on one of the protests of Gaza freelancer. However the photographer took the photo from different angle which created the result giving the impression that the children are standing in the prison. Even though the photographer used the right caption but as long as newspaper does not have to use the captions of the photos. The Independent did not use it when they decided to write about Palestinian minors, they took the photo and gave the information of “children clapped in in irons�.


Not using photographs Another bias often used is actually not using photos at all. On January 3, 2006 three Palestinian men were killed by Israeli soldiers. This situation was reported by Reuters which wrote “Israeli soldiers have shot dead three Palestinians, including a 15-year-old boy, who were throwing stones in protests around the West Bank city of Nablus early on Saturday local time, Palestinian medics and witnesses said.” And Associated Press stating: “On Saturday, troops opened fire at a large number of Palestinians throwing stones, an army spokesman said.” By those statements readers would get the impression that Israeli soldiers overreacted to children throwing small rocks. However the photography which was taken, but not used, gives different point of view.


Stereotyping (Nina Fuchsova) The problem of many articles is that they are following prejudices and stereotypes, which might be sometimes supported by very vague sources or taken out of the context. Are you thinking over what I mean? Let’s have a look on following examples and explain it. Are you aware of the characteristics described as being “a typical” woman? For instance women being provocative and promiscuous, hence more likely to be cheaters or a good liars. So, look on this senator and guess what’s wrong. This article is from online news http://www.breitbart.com/ with a title: “Single teen mom? Texas’s Wendy Davis lied about life story.”


Using lie instead of conceal “Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator whose filibuster for abortion rights made her a Democratic superstar and launched her campaign for governor, has admitted to the Dallas Morning News that she lied about key events in her life, including her first divorce. Davis may even have lied under oath, testifying in a federal lawsuit over redistricting that "I got divorced by the time I was 19 years old," when in fact she was divorced at age 21. Other missing details have included: her second husband paid her way through law school and she divorced him the day after the last payment was made; her ex-husband accused her in initial court filings of adultery, and was awarded custody of their two daughters; and she first ran for city council in Fort Worth as a Republican. “ Her ex-husband accused her for cheating, however who knows the truth?

Exploita tion of men -> gold diggers

Whole article available on: http://www.breitbart.com/BigGovernment/2014/01/19/Liar-in-Pink-Shoes-Wendy-Davis-s-CompositeLife


And concerning the opposite gender. Have you ever noticed the signs of being strong, dominant, etc.? Moreover the thing that most of the articles, when talking about man make fun of, are “women things”? Let’s take in consideration for example this article from the online magazine iDIVA, it just strikes me. Not talking about the fact that the Bisphenol A is not having negative effect on potency but the thing that they interpreted it in this scientific way to be more persuasive that shopping is not a manlike thing. (It reminds me of another bias – truthfulness of media. However you can read more about the nonsense quotation that Mr. Sommer said in the footnote – scientists comment)

Sense About Science, For The Record, 13 July 2010 http://www.senseaboutscience.org/for_the_record.php/21/can-shoppingreceipts-make-you-impotent-the-telegraph-30th-june-2010


Shopping is really bad for men’s health and fertility, scientists are now saying after new research. Researchers have discovered that a chemical compound found on some cash receipts Who contains a hazardous substance, Bisphenol A are the (BPA), which suppresses male hormones in researc the body and can make men impotent. hers?! The compound, used to make ink visible on Can we believe thermally sensitive paper, is ingested when men handle the paper and then touch their them? mouths or handle food. Frank Sommer, a Berlin-based urologist, said the substance could just affect sex hormones in men. "A substance like that could shift the balance of sex hormones in men towards oestrogen," Sommer was quoted as saying by The Telegraph newspaper here. Shopping is typically women desire and hobby

As you can read in the footnotes source, there’s scientific article saying that it’s nonsense what Mr. Sommer said (fortunately he is real J )


Sensationalism (Joshua zrzavy) Sensationalism is a type of bias in media, where ordinary news are overhyped in order to catch more attention of readers. Sensationalism usually focuses on themes that are emotionally based or on famous people and their affaires or our primal sense – fear. Trivial information and events are sometimes misrepresented and exaggerated as important or significant, and often includes stories about the actions of individuals and small groups of people. Furthermore, the content and subject matter typically doesn't affect the lives of the masses and doesn't affect society, and instead is broadcast and printed to attract viewers and readers, however some sensations can be partially true, but are still extremely exaggerated. Therefore, any story based on sources who may be reasonably assumed to be motivated to act in this way is best interpreted with critical thinking. Be aware of those sources, where people with not enough information post their opinions and share it. Then it starts the effect of “snowball” and it slowly starts the sensation – somebody spits interesting and touchy theme on internet [not necessarily] and other user grabs it and adds additional, possibly false, information, that’s how it continues until it hits media.


For example the case of “Y2K” bug – programmers and IT techs were used to save their numerical data in only two letters [Y2K = year 2 000] because Y refers to YEAR, and “K” refers to kilo [1000]. So these machines went from “99” to “00” – this in some machines resulted in change of date to “19100”. The problem here is, that it was only small technical problem – media turned this problem into worst disaster, even referring to collapse of all technology. There were rumors of cars possibly not working etc. This resulted in army, government and regular people spending billions of dollars on their PC’s in order to protect them. CDI calculated, that worldwide we have spent $422 billion in order to protect their PC’s.


What really happend? In Sheffield, United Kingdom, incorrect Down syndrome test results were sent to 154 pregnant women and two abortions were carried out as a direct result of a Y2K bug. Four Down's syndrome babies were also born to mothers who had been told they were in the low-risk group.

In Onagawa, Japan, an alarm sounded at a nuclear power plant at two minutes after midnight. And other MINOR problems, which means that Y2K was a huge sensationalism.


Lack of context (Jiri trebicky) There are many simple ways how to twist reader´s mind. One of it is not to tell him circumstances and background of the case. A brief example should speak for itself. This is an easy way how to change reader’s perception without lying. Let’s say you see an article about a man who was brutally killed by shotgun when he delivered a newspaper magazine. Everyone would pity this man and would feel really awful about the husband of the family who shot him. What if there would be added more background and you would find out that the newspaper guy was trying to rape a little girl that he found alone in the house when he delivered the newspaper. The news is not lying, they are just not saying the full story.

Another simple approach is to cut speeches of interviewed people and therefore make them sound in a different way. Problem with this approach is that the host/politician/whoever did say the things, they just cut the beginning or the end of the speech so it is the way they want. Usually you don’t question that because they obviously have no time for the interview in news right?


This is an extreme but simple example of how they can do it. The red words were deleted. Interview about a death of a friend: Interviewer: Are you happy today? Host: Happy? No, not at all, it was an unnecessary death. Interviewer: Can you tell me what relationship did you have with Archibald? Host: Of Course… It completely changes the message. From the green area it seems like the host is happy from a death of his fellow. Of course this is an evil example but in a way it is a good as well. They also insert random pictures in order to create the atmosphere and change the perception of a reader. This is more like changing the context than lacking it. Our brain is unable to disconnect from the pictures that are allocated next to the text and even though he does not realize he is being fooled, he is.

We cannot blame the media all the times. Very often there are political reasons to cut a message. This applies a lot to the countries where the politicians own the media. They would not let the writers to publish some dark secrets of the government. To summarize, we must start to question the context and try to look up interviews from valid sources. If we don’t we might get a bad impression of celebrities that aren’t that bad as described.


Leadership (Karolina Kolarova)

Freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns one." A. J. Liebling Each of these following quotes is hiding some kind of truth. Especially this one is worthy to be considered. Who influence what we read in newspapers and see in TV news? According to the statistics 47% of media is own by public figures. You might not find it anyhow interesting or important BUT what seems to be not affecting us is in fact messing with our mind... However, there is one question hanging in the air. How should we know who and how is influencing the information that is later on world widely distributed? Well usually we won´t found any official title “owned by George Bush “or “under the control of American government”. Not all newspapers are following the trend “support your owner”, but if so it´s really hard to detect any of biases or favouritism in newspaper or media in general. The tactics is really sneaky.


So here are few tips how to avoid this psychological game: Note the amount of articles that are talking about the same subject especially in positive manner. Such an example is elections. In year 2000 when presidential elections were held in US, Fox news spent $2.9 million on “Bush campaign”. Almost 57% of news was about Bush. How is it possible? Well, George Bush owns 2% of Fox News and moreover he is the best friend of the company director. Isn´t it weird that one media confirms allegations that Berlusconi had raped a girl, but some says the opposite. Well it is probably due to the fact that Berlusconi owned almost 80% of Italian media. NEVER FORGET TO COMPARE MORE SOURCES! To be honest some media are making really a fool from us. ALWAYS look for small details. Such as numbers of missiles fired at the beginning of year 2014 by Israeli air force. Palestinian news says at the beginning 8, but at the end 12 missiles on the other hand Israeli news mentioned 5 missiles fired. So probably 12 minus 8 should be 5 or 5 should equals to 12 as is mentioned in the articles. We can see that Israeli government is not alike with the Palestinian as both of the news is owned by politicians with different ideologies.


Sources Cover picture: http://feyzikaraer.deviantart.com/ art/media-40743626 Pictures in this brochure were used from following websides: http://twicsy.com/i/ixeBJb http://blogs.yis.ac.jp/14omoric/2012/08/27/english-g11-stereotypes/ http://faculty.mercer.edu/spears_a/studentpages/gender_stereotypes/webp age.html http://www.galanet.eu/dossier/index.php?IdDossier=65 http://www.deviantart.com/art/Political-language-28517918 http://commonsensebygrandpat.com/2013/09/05/the-media-prosecutorsjudges-and-jurors/ http://www.minnpost.com/business/2012/05/end-near-weeklynewsmagazines-flirt-sensationalism http://th02.deviantart.net/fs70/200H/f/2012/135/c/c/media_head_by_chuc orose-d4ztxgp.jpg http://www.deviantart.com/art/Dear-Media-82728708 http://www.deviantart.com/art/Media-Head-302047657 http://www.pcpmedia.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Screen-shot-201301-14-at-4.48.27-PM.png http://27.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lw2a495AkR1qbn5m1o1_500.jpg http://egmr.net/wpcontent/themes/egamer/scripts/timthumb.php?zc=1&w=650&h=300&src=ht tp://egmr.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/spongebob.jpg http://www.d.umn.edu/~jfitzake/Lectures/DMED/SpeechLanguage/Language Image.jpg http://www.greenberg-art.com/.Toons/.Toons,%20Media/qqxsgMediaBias.gif http://www.madperspectives.com/images/Context.jpg

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