Friday, March 9, 2012

Bias and Media Literacy- revised

This blog post will discuss media bias and how I am personally affected by media biases within the news. In order to take a closer look at my media biases it is important to know how media bias is defined. Also it is important to take inventory or asses my media consumption.

Wikipedia has a lot to say about media bias and defines the term media bias as "a pervasive or widespread bias contravening the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist or article". This definition opened my mind as I began assessing my own bias. I am not a journalist but I am a producer of media that can affect individuals understanding and perception. Next is the personal assessment of my media bias.

The television was my babysitter as I was a latch key kid who's single mom worked two jobs in order to take care of me. My mom did not read nor did she read to me. As I took a deeper look I realized many of my family members were not readers. I believe that reading is the foundation to literacy.

As I became an adult it was apparent that I had some deficiencies to overcome if I were to be an effective producer of media. Not until I did a true assessment of my media consumption did I understand what my deficiencies were and how they have potentially affected my development as a media producer.

Based on my inventory I learned I had many biases. For instance, I prefer television over the newspaper, radio and computer for news and entertainment. But why such dependence and trust in television? I have come to realize that my culture, child hood and educational experiences or lack of, helped to form my biases.

News is important to me to but I find that you can not get away from the propaganda as well as the bias that pervade most news reporting. For example, when it comes to news I prefer CNN over Fox News. But why? In my opinion I believe FOX news is more biased than its competitor CNN. FOX news is less neutral on many political issues and makes it its political ties obvious it it's viewers. In my opinion CNN attempts to be more neutral but even they have their bias. I understand CNN and FOX are companies that are managed by people and people will apply their personal bias in the content they develop. Journalist are not alone in this process. Filmmakers like myself use documentaries as a platform to speak out against many issues that affect them personally as well as others.

Marshall McLuhan reminds us all "the medium is the message" not the content. I embrace this theory and use it as a way to maintain focus and to be aware of my biases as well as the biases others. It is crucial as a media psychologist to be a critical thinker and to find neutrality in the approach on analyzing and producing content as well as empowering others with media literacy. I will continue to apply personal assessment of my biases in order to be neutral and objective.

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