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Is the Media's Bias Causing a Divide in Our Politics and Subsequent Nation?

Updated on January 6, 2018

Within our day to day lives we are surrounded by information, everything that we may ever need to know is now miraculously at our fingertips, through the advancement of new technologies such as the internet and all of our portable devices which connect us to it. In years prior, to get information, you would have to read a book, watch the news or get a news paper, but now we are able to get any of the information we desire, with the simple click of a button. But where are we getting this information from exactly and how does it shape the way that we look at the world?

A 2017 Pew Poll showed that 67% of Americans get at least some of their information from social media where in years prior individuals would primarily get their information from mainstream media sources. Within this same article it is shown that the number of social media users who use social media for news are dropping in terms of using more traditional methods of media for new. But what could be the reason for this drop in usership?

A major point of contention between the American people and the mainstream media is the overall lack of trust that people have within it. Many people feel that there media is constantly picking sides and lying to them and it is very interesting to see partially where this is coming from. Within recent memory this anti mainstream media approach is being spearhead by our President who seems to be very anti-media by making his fake news claims, whenever he sees a statement that he either disprove of or is actually nonfactual. For evidence of this, you may look no further then his twitter account. But can't it be said that what is confusing Americans is this pluralization of fact and fiction, that is not only seen within Trump’s tweets, but also within the media's coverage of stories in themselves? Is the media really all that biased?

For a great example of this political pluralization, look no further then a Pew Poll taken in 2014. Within this poll there is much contrast shown between those who see themselves as Liberal and those who see themselves as Conservative in terms of what news sources they trust and this can go to further show the disconnect between the people and the mainstream media. It can be seen as no wonder that the AMerican people have so little trust in the mainstream media system when its influences are so divided.

Another major contention that people have with the media comes in the form of political advertising, which has been proven too and individuals feel, cause them to come to irrational conclusions about candidates and political opinions. For interesting in depth look into the effects of political advertising here is a link to an APA article that does wonders for delving into the psychological implications of political advertising, but nevertheless there seems to be a scene of mistrust that has manifest due to these suspicions that people have of the media, regardless of how rational or irrational they seem.

Another issue that causes mistrust within the media, is the increase of opinion within their content and the elimination of what individuals see as real journalism. What individuals tend to interpret as real journalism is something investigative, we all tend to have that old time journalist in our mind, who runs around with a notepad and pen looking for the latest scoop. But now when people turn on the news what they see is a bunch of people usually sitting around yelling at one another debating the context within a situation, rather then actual news related details and this might be a big part of what people find so distasteful in the news.

Now this newfound tenancy for distrust seems to come from the rise of social media and this can be seen in part from a quote within an article that I read that states "Since today’s news consumers can get the basic facts from a quick internet search, many publications have differentiated themselves by shifting from straight news to context and analysis." Andra Brichacek. With this rise of social media what traditional media sources now do is go for the angle of analysis of content rather then just giving the news, because it gives us more question then answers and it is shown to attract more people, but the problem with it is the further pluralization that it manifests within the people.

As more and more of the the mainstream news sources, decide to further cling to their left or right leaning agenda, the more we begin to see people feeling marginalized. This can be seen within a quote by Timothy P. Carney, in a New York Times article, in which he states that "Democracy needs a trustworthy news media. For conservatives to trust the news media, it needs to better understand conservatives." This comment goes to show a recognition of the pluralization that is being caused by the media, which can be seen in a Pew Poll, which shows that right leaning people overwhelmingly gravitate towards Fox News in terms of sources that they trust for their information, where those on the left seem to have more options. IT can also be stated that Conservatives need to also begin to understand what they perceive as the Liberal news media, if they ever wish to come to a compromise amongst all of this division, but this all probably speaks to a deeper underlying problem.

The final point that that can be made about this pluralization, I think can be seen within this past election cycle. Ramping up to the last few days before the election the ad's and overall coverage was overwhelmingly negative and I think that apathy due to this negativity was seen when people went the the ballet box or as it seams, when they stayed home. Within this past election cycle the number of voters who actually came out to vote where at an all time low and I think that this just goes to show just what happens when people are so overly saturated with negativity, for they seem to get an overwhelmingly apathetic feeling. Abraham Lincoln said that “A house divided cannot stand.” and this can partially be seen within the turnout for this past election, for I think this overall apathy goes to show our division as a nation and I don't believe that it can be sustainable.

Nevertheless, this is all based of off two days worth of research and personal opinion, so who am I to say that this is all fact. But now I would live to hear just what all of you have to say. Is the media pluralizing the country, due to a lack of subscribers, are people just parinoyed and overreacting or is it something deeper that hasn't been touched upon at all in this column? I can't wait to hear what you all have to say.


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    • bradmasterOCcal profile image

      Brad Masters 

      12 months ago from Orange County California BSIT BSL JD

      The media has been biased since cable news was created. At first, it was just the conflation of editorials infused into the "news". But news by definition doesn't include opinion.

      Yet, simply reporting the facts, and verifying them as the news didn't take up the 24/7 bandwidth for cable news.

      Today, the cable news along with other forms of media take the opinion infested "news" to a low low level.

      Since the 2016 presidential election campaign the cable news has picked a political side, and they chose to support the left. It has been documented and verified during the primary campaign and throughout the campaign to the election and beyond through today.

      Even the format on cable news is hostile. The bias is found in the title of the news "report". The rest of the article then tries to support the biased headline.

      A typical left bias of the cable news was evident on election day in 2016. Where the "reporting" of the elections interim voting results, and through the win by Trump they kept opining that Hillary was going to win and Trump didn't have a chance, A couple of them even had whiteboards to show in detail why Trump couldn't win the Electoral College 271 minimum votes. And even when the final results were 305 to 231 the anchors wept and predicted the doom of America because Donald Trump won the presidency.

      Then after the election, they focused on every word and every action to try and distort what president Elect, and then president Trump was doing for the country and the people.

      They called him names and they disrespected the office of the president while targeting him for impeachment or through the 25th amendment.

      They also played up the bogus Russian Dossier which Hillary Clinton and the DNC paid twelve million dollars to manufacture lies.

      They down played the Hillary Clinton and DNC scandals, and any negative news about them. Or they simply didn't mention them at all.

      Trump has used his TWEET power to get his actual statements out to the people without any opinions about it. Of course the after effect of the TWEETS is then painted with the bias of the media.

      Just look at the words that the left including the supporters of the left. They are disrespectful, untrue, vile, rude and they are dividing the country. The left divided the country causing the Civil War, and now the left starting with Obama have divided the country once again, and then they call themselves Patriots. Treason may have been how the founders created the US from the English citizenship. But the founders made such acts in the US, Treason.

      Example of words from the left supporters



      remain idiots

      spewing his vile

      proven to be hypocrits and

      plain stupid.

      they are incapable of belief.


    • profile image


      12 months ago

      Its the Idiots who refuse to accept facts and whom choose to remain idiots to accept false hoods to protect their agenda not the media. If the President is on Telivision spewing his vile then it must be him saying it. If its his Twitter account then he must be typing it. Just because it appears on a channel you label false news does not change the news. People can spin it or have their opinions but people have to search for the facts. When you no longer believe the truth and call the truth fake news then you probably believe nothing any way. A certain percent of the population has been proven to be hypocrits and plain stupid. Its sad especially when they claim to believe in something and we know they are incapable of belief.


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