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Education Campaign: The Impact of Media Bias on Society

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

Whether you want to keep up with your town or the world, it is imperative to do so accurately. Amidst the bias of reporters, disinformation, and censorship, it is often difficult to know what is accurate and what is not. When adding personal bias to the equation, it is even easier to accidentally believe news that is untrue or skewed.

Reading news from reputable sources across the globe is helpful in painting a nuanced, complete version of current events. Narratives on the same situation can vary across news outlets, across the same country, and across the globe. Additionally, it is crucial to keep a keen eye out for how news outlets describe situations through specific language, which may reveal certain biases. Think of the way English and history teachers (especially in Constructing America) are always telling us to pay attention to “passive” versus “active” voices. The seemingly subtle differences between "killed" and "died" or "animal" and "person,” for example, can make all the difference in how the audience interprets news. It is equally important to pay attention to who is funding a news outlet and its reputation for presenting accurate information.

Ultimately, it is important to be critical as you consume media, but we encourage you not to close yourself off to outlooks that may challenge your views.

There are five main categories for bias in news, which most publications fall under: left, left-leaning, center, right-leaning, and right. AllSides, a news outlet that aims to dismantle bias and misinformation by highlighting articles on current events from all perspectives and leveraging fact-checker scales and expert review, provides comprehensive definitions for each of these biases on its website, which you all should check out. We also encourage you to see which bias you fall under by taking their “Rate Your Bias” quiz, which can help you expand beyond your current views.

AllSides identifies that a new outlet’s bias can often come from its spin, unsubstantiated claims, opinion statements presented as facts, sensationalism/emotionalism, mudslinging/ad hominem, bias by omission, word choice, and much more. To caution against these, we encourage you to check multiple sources, research writers and sources, click on hyperlinks, read past headlines, watch for partisan bias, be skeptical of labels, and train your brain. For more information, check out AllSides: How to Spot and Avoid Misinformation!

More Resources: Global Reliable Sources

  • AllSides

  • Al Jazeera (English)

  • BBC

  • BBC Middle East

  • Der Spiegel (English)

  • Le Monde (French)

  • Radio Free Europe

  • The Telegraph

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