Bias in the News Media: The Media's Portrayal of the India and Pakistan Crisis
Kiechle, Elizabeth H. (Liz)
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"In America the President reigns for four years, and journalists govern for ever and ever,"1 wrote Oscar Wilde, an Anglo-Irish playwright. Journalists have an unmistakable influence on the general population that involves themselves with the news. With the aid of reporters, Americans across the nation are able to know not only what is going on in other parts of the country, but events all over the world as well. Americans rely on journalists to inform them about important issues going on in the world. Undeniably this places a large responsibility on reporters, for as will be seen, it is a difficult task to present an accurate and unbiased report of everything deemed to be newsworthy. In the following sections, characteristics· of the news and the journalists involved in providing the news will be examined. From this basis, hypotheses will be made concerning possible biases ·in the media and the reason for their existence. Also, domestic news and international news will be analyzed, and contrasts between the two will be noted. Finally, the basis from the aforementioned sections will be taken and applied to a study of articles from four different newspapers concerning the India and Pakistan crisis. The possibility of bias in the news media will b~ studied in relation to the coverage of this ongoing dilemma. Bias in the news media is common topic at this point in time, and although this paper will point out criticisms of the media, it is in no way meant to undermine the importance of the existence of a news source. The media is comprised of both positive and negative aspects, as the researchers quoted in this paper have noted. Occasionally, however, the faulty characteristics leave a lasting impression on the consumers of the news media. Consequently, studies, such as this one, of the media are meant to inform and prepare the consumer to allow them to appreciate and discriminate between both admirable and inadequate reporting.
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