Media Bias During Presidential Elections
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For a democracy to function, information must be disseminated so that those who vote are able to make informed decisions. Since the birth of the United States, information has traveled through a variety of different means, and the entities responsible for informing people have coalesced into what is referred to as the "media". The importance of the media cannot be underestimated during presidential elections. One of the most important decisions voters make is when they decide for whom to cast their vote for president. Thus the most information possible needs to be gathered in order for informed voting to take place. What kind of information should the media be disseminating? What if that information was slanted, or biased in favor of an individual candidate? Both the right and the left levy claims of media bias every four years as each side sees its candidate treated unfairly by the media Furthermore, criticism of the media stems from what is considered a lack of substantive news coverage by the media. In several weeks of my own analysis of articles taken from the New York Times, it is clear that both criticisms of the media are somewhat founded in reality. The New York Times, at times, lacked sufficient substance which would allow people to make more informed decisions. A slight bias exists which, in the 2008 presidential election, favored Barack Obama. The bulk of this bias manifested itself through the various photos of Barack Obama compared to photos of his opponent, John McCain.