3 Ways to Spot Media Bias When Watching the News

3 Ways To Spot Media Bias When Watching The News

(TargetLiberty.org) – We have access to more media sources than anyone else in human history. With multiple 24-hour news channels, every major newspaper in the world available online and with the rapid growth of citizen journalism, it’s easy to get multiple takes on any story.

But how do you know the media you’re consuming is fair, objective and unbiased?

If you watch the news uncritically, the chances are you’ll end up believing a lot of content that turns out to be dangerously biased. It’s vital to know how to spot biased media.

  1. Check the source. The source of a news article is always relevant, even when it’s something that seems non-political. If you’re getting your news from SocialismIsAwesome.com, the chances are even the weather will have an anti-American bias.
  2. Check the vocabulary. English has the largest, richest vocabulary of any language in the world. Whatever you want to say, there are probably a lot of different ways to say it – and a skilled writer can pick words or phrases that push their own biases on the consumer. “Local hero stops mugging” and “Vigilante shoots black teen” can both be describing the same incident, but the headlines don’t exactly paint the same picture, do they?
  3. Check the spectrum. Don’t just rely on news sources you tend to agree with; you could shut yourself up in a bubble of your own biases. Find sources that are generally reliable but don’t share your politics. If they carry the same story, and it’s pretty much the same, the chances are your source isn’t biased.

The truth is, every media source has some biases. The trick is to find the ones where there’s just enough bias to add some color, but not enough to twist the meaning of the news itself. These three tools will help you do just that.

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