News publications are easy to come by, but so is bias within the news presented. News and the sources of that news present political bias.
One of the most well-known news networks, FOX News, is notoriously known for being politically biased in favor of conservative viewpoints. According to a study by researchers Ceren Budak, Sharad Goel, and Justin M Rao, 46% of the news articles published daily by FOX, were political in nature.
In that same study, the New York Times, which is regarded as a more liberally biased source, had only 36% of their daily news articles deemed political. This 10% difference may not, at first, seem important or drastic, but when taking in account the amount of articles published daily, the slant becomes larger.
The study calculated that, on average, FOX News publishes 44.2 political articles per day, while the New York Times only publishes 24.7 political articles. Both sources publish articles with political bias, but the conservative source was publishing at nearly twice the rate of the liberal. This creates a deficit in liberal media and overall unevenness in political coverage.
Shania Davis, a senior from Detroit rated the issue of political bias in mainstream news. When rating the two mainstream sources, Davis said she felt that Fox News was more biased than The New York Times.
Davis also expressed a desire for unbiased news.
“I prefer the straight truth, and not people’s opinions in the midst,” said Davis. “It takes away from the actual news.”
Davis explained her love for the New York Times, though her most frequented network was the Metro Detroit FOX News affiliate, FOX2.
Like Davis, I have found in my own searches for news, that FOX News and news outlets with conservative values are more prevalent than those with liberal ones. Whenever I search for an article to read, the first collection of sources I stumble upon are networks like FOX News, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. From the articles I read, it was obvious from opinion and news pieces that the conservative bias was there and prevalent.
The overall slant toward conservative values in mainstream media could, in turn, lead to imbalanced political influence.
Young viewers, who don’t have any political standing, could become influenced by the conservative stories published in the media and take on a political ideology that they don’t know enough about. It is important for the younger children to first learn the specific values and issues that a political party supports before establishing it as their own.
With mainstream news networks shoving their political bias down the throats of readers and viewers, those who are more impressionable will find themselves leaning towards that ideology without knowing enough about it.
Because the conservative bias is more prevalent in mainstream media, there will be an influx in a new generation of conservatives, who won’t know exactly what they stand for, given that their only segue into this political party was the opinions of reporters and news anchors.
Both general and political news should be unbiased and allow for the readers to come to their own conclusions with the hard facts. Mainstream news networks shouldn’t use their platform to recruit people for their designated political party, but should rather report the facts and inform the public of issues in an unbiased way.