Journalists and Bias

With the vast amount of information going around the world constantly, I think journalists have a duty to minimize and manage bias as much as possible.

Lets define the word. It’s any inclination or prejudice for or against a person or group in a way that is unfair.

How does the ordinary person see bias? He or she sees bias in a news report when it affects how they see themselves, as a member of a group, their identity or by source.

We judge bias by the Source (who’s reporting it), tabloid or broadsheet, not content.

We make assumptions on the news according to our Identity, our age group, our gender, political preferences, race, nationality and so on.

You read bias into an article by your Group, examples: American, British or Arab—Conservative or Labour—young vs. old—women vs. men.


Types of bias:

Bias by Omission—leaving one side of an argument out of an article.

Bias by Labeling—labeling stories with “expert” or “independent”.

Bias by Spin—reporting one side and making that view look better than another.

Bias by Distortion—news that’s not completely right.


Journalists bend over backwards trying to prove they are Unbiased.

But bias does exist and it invariably is built into the choices that reporters make, when deciding what to leave in or out of an article..

And that news judgment is subjective, it’s hard to discount how you perceive things.

So maybe, some bias is a good thing!

It could make a story more understandable. It could also, prompt an organization or person to right a wrong.

We must remember, the journalist is writing for the public, not the powers that be.

All in all the journalist is making choices on how a bias could help a story or hinder it.


There are also ethics that a journalist should adhere to.

They must defend the freedom of speech and resist efforts to distort information.

It’s a fine line, but a journalist has political and other convictions, like all of us, but they must try to remain neutral and objective.

Both the public and the journalist have to practice Critical Thinking, to spot bias and make sense of what we read and write. They must be able to analyze and interpret what they read and write.


To end on a lighter note:

The first thing I do every morning, when I get up, is look at the newspaper to see if the world is still here!


Also published on Medium.

2 thoughts on “Journalists and Bias

  1. Age old fact. We don’t see things as they are but as we are Dave. Good post hun. Sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier….been away on a hen weekend, and then needed to recover. Hope all is going well 🙂

  2. I don’t believe anything I read or hear and only 1/2 of what I see with my own eyes.
    There are 3 sides to every story. His, hers and the truth. These old sayings are truth. Good luck trying to figure out which is which.

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