Throughout the 2016 election and into Donald Trump’s presidency, bias in the media has been a hot topic. President Trump’s cries against “fake news” and several news outlets like the New York Times and CNN have only created further divides between conservative and liberal news stations. But why does this division exist in the first place? One of the primary rules of journalism is to present news from an unbiased perspective. This begs the question, what does it take to be unbiased in today’s volatile political climate?

In a report from Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy the extent of media biases surrounding President Trump’s first 100 days in office are revealed. The study compared well-known news stations such as Fox News and CNN and how often they speak about the president in negative or positive tones. According to the research, 93 percent of CNN’s coverage of Trump is negative, versus 52 percent of Fox’s coverage. It is likely that CNN and Fox News are discussing the same stories, yet the tone in which they discuss them are vastly different.

More recently, former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony and its heavy news coverage presents another example of bias influencing the media. During Comey’s testimony, MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN ran headlines in response to Comey’s statement that Trump told him that he “hoped” the Flynn investigation could be resolved and that in turn, Comey took that as “a direction”. MSNBC’s headline read, “Comey: ‘Sure’ Special Counsel is Looking into Whether or Not Trump Obstructed Justice.” While CNN’s stated, “Comey: I took Trump’s Request about Flynn as a Directive”, and Fox’s proclaimed, “Comey: Pres Did Not Order Me to Let Flynn Probe Go.” The differences between the headlines shows a firsthand example of how political bias influences the mainstream media and how they choose to present stories to the public.

Source: The Washington Post

With the United States a polarized country, it is increasingly easy to find news that validates your political views. And while there is some degree of bias in the media, many news stations and reporters remain unbiased.  Thus, it is important to remain educated and informed, doing research into issues that are important to you, so that you are able to look past any possible bias into what the crux of the issues are that will affect our livelihoods as Americans.

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