Trinity On News Bias: How to Solve It

Julian Sealy, Staff Writer

Flipping through CNN and Fox News on his television, freshman Tavish Ward eagerly watches as the events of the Capitol Riots un-fold before his eyes. Ward recognizes a discrepancy between the two news channels’ coverage.

“Social media, like Twitter, and certain media stations like Fox… I think those are main instruments of spreading misinformation,” Ward said.

In the modern era, journalism is more important than ever before. However, news biases from both audiences and sources are reinforcing political polarization and blurring the lines between journalism and sensationalism.

For example, news sources can tend to be more opinionated to gain viewership, and news stations often exaggerate or falsify headlines because they know certain audiences would elicit extreme responses and thus, increase the station’s viewership. us, it is crucial for audiences to trust journalists that will provide true information.

With both readers and news sources, politics is a huge factor in news bias. On the audience side, it plays a significant role in the news sources people watch and their reactions.

“Depending on where you stand politically, that will definitely affect the information that you receive and how you perceive it,” social science teacher Rosanna Cal said.

In a similar fashion, politics also influences the variety of ways news sources might cover the same event. News coverage on social media tends to be convenient for providing quick information, but that information may not always be straight down to the facts.”

“When people watch the news on TV, they’re only getting very condensed pieces of information and the information being divided will depend on the political view of the station,” Cal said.

Social science teacher and Director of Forensics Benjamin Gaddis said that another contributor to news bias is confirmation bias.

“People are seeking out things that they agree with, rather than confronting just facts being written and not necessarily delivered through someone’s tone or opinion,” Gaddis said. “The main issue is both confirmation bias and niche news. The more I’m looking for someone to agree with me and write something that confirms the beliefs that we have already.”

Confirmation bias can cause readers to quickly jump to opinions instead of fully engaging with the nuance of issues.

“I think that people need to read as many things as possible,” Gaddis said. “ They need to find things that either make them uncomfortable or just give them the facts so that they get to make up the opinions afterwards.”

Although news bias can be portrayed negatively, it also gives viewers a chance to see other perspectives on a side of the spectrum they may not have otherwise looked at. English teacher Robert Boerth explained the importance of checking multiple sources when reading the news and the main issue with news bias.

“When I read the news, I never look at just one source,” Boerth said. “Typically I will look at Fox News, CNN [and] USA Today. Every single day you can see that they are often covering the same stories, but they obviously all have different slants.”

The Associated Press, or the AP, is widely considered by many to be one of the most reliable news sources out there. While unbiased news doesn’t exist, balanced news does.

According to the COM Library Media Chart, the Associated Press nearly tops the chart and proves to be a very reliable source for many.

“I trust the Associated Press, as reliable and trustworthy,” Cal said. “I also check out BBC News because the British are known to be blunt about things.”

News biases aren’t going away anytime soon. However, Cal said that in the modern era, it is vital that everybody tries to fight news bias.

“You can stop the news bias,” Cal said. “Having grown up in an era where there’s so much conflicting information, where there’s so much bias and the facts are taking a back seat [Journalists] more than anyone else should know that what you’re doing now needs to be true to the facts, true to the events without any bias and let the reader come to their own conclusion and their own opinion.”