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POS 2041 Honors (Rampersaud) - Evaluating International Media: Types of Media Bias

Corporate Bias and Advertising Bias

Follow the money! News can be spun or slanted to suit the organization that owns the news agency (corporate bias) or to suit the organizations that provide money to the news agency (usually through advertising; hence, advertising bias).

World-Newspapers.com is a site that provides brief descriptions of newspapers from countries around the world.

Click on China and browse the list. How do you think reporting would differ in the People's Daily versus China Digital Times?

Cultural Bias

Cultural bias is the idea that news is filtered or slanted based on the journalist's own cultural ideas. Another related term is "ethnocentrism," or judging other cultures by the yardstick of one's own culture.

In this Google Book preview, Herbert Gans outlines an example of cultural bias in American news media of the 1970s:

Deciding What's News (p. 42)

Access Bias

This story from National Public Radio highlights an example of access bias -- the idea that news reporting is biased because reporters can't get all sides of the story.

Project Looks at New Way to Report on Syria

Sensationalism

Sensationalism is when a story is embellished or over-represented in order to increase viewership or readership.

This column published by CBSNews provides an example of sensationalism surrounding the swine flu outbreak of 2009: Did We Overreact to Swine Flu Threat?

Subject Guide