Media Bias

Topics: Black people, African American, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 6 (2516 words) Published: December 19, 2001
One problem that plagues us everyday without us even realizing it is media bias. We see it in the news. We see it on our favorite sitcoms. We read it everyday in the paper. Yet, we really don't recognize it when we hear it or see it. Media bias is evident in every aspect of the media, yet the problem is that we don't even recognize it when it is right in front of our faces. Are the impressions that we form about individuals a product of the media? Do we form certain opinions about particular types of people based solely on the things we see and hear in the media everyday without even realizing it? The problem is not only that there is media bias present, but also that we can't recognize it when we see it.

What is media bias?
Media bias is the tendency for the media to represent different people in a particular way based on their own views, the views of their sponsors, and possibly the views of society. Media bias could be blatant, but usually it is subtle. It can be expressed in the content of television shows. It can be expressed in the choices of types of stories that they show on the news. It can be expressed in the language used on shows, and that is written in the newspaper and magazines. Media bias is any stereotype set forth by the media that portrays individuals to society in a certain way. Media bias doesn't even have to be a negative portrayal, but more of an inaccurate portrayal of people that helps aid to the ignorance of individuals in society. In the following paper, I will give specific instances where media biases have occurred as well as show that it is a common occurrence that we may not realize. I will also show you why individuals believe that media bias is not a problem because if you can't blatantly recognize it, how can it be there. I will also show how stereotypes set forth by the media sometimes mirror stereotypes that are set forth by society, and they only exist to help form the belief and value system of society. I will also offer possible solutions to such problems. Media bias is a large problem, in that its' existence is not blatant nor is it one that many people feel threatened by.

Examples of Media Bias
First we need to examine the cases where this is present. Less obvious stereotypes are those of women. Women's roles in society have changed throughout the times. Are these changes due to societal changes as a whole, or were they because individuals in the media felt that this was a change that needed to happen, and once we saw it on television we believed it was so? When women first aired on television, they were seen as housewives and mothers. Few had jobs. Most of the women had husbands that worked hard everyday, and they had submissive roles. Women were not the decision makers, nor did they have too much intelligence. This was seen in shows such as All in the Family, The Beavers, The Donna Reed Show, The Brady Bunch, and many more. There were not any female news anchors, and when they were on television they did cooking shows, and perhaps the weather. As time moved on and the Women Movement began, women became working mothers; still they had lower roles, such as secretarial ones, and factory jobs. Presently women have been portrayed as more career oriented. They are doctors and lawyers, managers, and television anchors. There are also many shows where women are more independent. Many are not married, some are single mothers, and some are even divorced. This was a positive change, but yet it does hold some media bias. The problem is whether these changes occurred because of a societal shift, or was this because people who invested in the media saw this happening, wanted ratings, and felt that this must be done and in turn society began to shift their way of thinking about women; or was it a combination of both? The problem is why does the media feel that they can shape societal views. Another stereotype that is present in the...
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