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Fake News and Disinformation Guide

Bias and the News

A globe with a ring that reads "News News News" encircling it. Three arms appear from the left side with a camera, voice recorder, and microphone pointed at the globe.Media bias refers to the bias (perceived or otherwise) of journalists and news organizations. It is important to remember that people have their own agendas and biases that can leak into news media. These biases can have a great effect on how information is portrayed, which can lean into disinformation and fake news.

When a news source is biased, this affects what types of news stories get published and/or covered. This in turn can lead to certain information or stories not being presented to media consumers. On the other hand, media bias can also mean that the news organization or journalist talks about these stories from a certain perspective or using language which can be misleading. Media bias is often linked towards political leanings, with certain news organizations being attributed as being left or right leaning.

There are many ways that media bias can be seen in news stories:

  • Relevant information is left out of a story
  • Unsubstantiated claims
  • Sensationalism
  • Opinions presented as facts
  • Personal attacks on individuals instead of addressing an issue
  • Arriving at unjustified conclusions
  • Not providing a source

You should be wary if you notice practices like this in an article you are reading from, and make sure you are looking at multiple news resources.

(Source: Future Lean, Image Source: PNG All)

Ad Fontes Media - Media Bias Chart

Screenshot of Ad Fontes Media's Media Bias Chart on their website.

The Media Bias Chart, created by Ad Fontes Media, is a visual display of the media landscape. Media companies are rated on the chart based on two dimensions: news value and reliability (vertical axis) and bias (horizontal axis).

You can view the chart and read about their methodology on their website.