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Week 7Fairness, Balance, & Bias
Mark WillesCEO Deseret Media Company            How
to
be
trusted
            voices
of
light
and
                knowledg...
Mark WillesCEO Deseret Media Company                 Extra
Credit:
                 What
are
the
                strengths...
Is the News Media Biased?
What the Public Believes74% say news organizations tend to favor one side in      dealing with political and social issues...
What the Public Believes  50% believe the media has a          liberal slant  22% believe the media has a      conservativ...
No Doubts“Now, it is common knowledge that the mainstream media from the major television networks to the country’s most  ...
No Doubts"Hosts
on
Fox
raise
money
on
the
air
for
Republican
candidates,
they
endorse
them
explicitly,
they
use
their
Fox
...
Is there a perception of bias     or is the bias real?
Three Questions Today:• How do we know if a news article is  fair?• How do we know if a news outlet is  biased?• What’s th...
What is missing?
Balance, Fairness and Bias
Balance, Fairness and Bias        What’s Missing?
What’s the Difference Between   Fairness and Balance?
Key DefinitionsBalance: Equality between the totals of the two(or more) sides of the account. Balance is more    technical...
What Is Balance?
Can Balance Be the Opposite of          Fairness?Should Holocaust Deniers Get Equal Space?
Is Balance the Same as Fairness?Should Climate Change Doubters Get Equal Space?
Key DefinitionsFairness: Marked by impartiality and honesty.     Free from self-interest, prejudice, or    favoritism. Bei...
Finding Fairness:• Fair play• Fair language• Fair presentation
Fair play:• Obvious effort to include relevant perspectives• People, Organizations get to respond to negative charges
Fair Play
Fair
Play
In
Cases
of
Serious
AllegaAons
Fair Play: Avoid Loaded Words          “Right-to-Life” vs. “Anti-Abortion”           “Pro-Choice” vs. “Pro-Abortion”      ...
Fair Presentation:     Avoids prejudicial photosPresents photos and other materials          in a neutral way.
Fair Presentation:
Fair Presentation:
Key DefinitionsBias: A predisposition that distorts your ability         to fairly weigh the evidence       and prevents y...
Fair, Unfair, or Biased?School Bus Aide Busted Dealing Methadone
The News Literacy Definition:           Bias:   a pattern of unfairness
Common Flaws in “Bias” Claims        “The news media is biased” isan over-generalization. Some outlets, maybe.Opinion Jour...
Mistake or Bias?
Sloppy Reporting or Bias?   Dan Rather and George Bush
Opinion or Bias?
News Judgment or Bias?Choosing a story to cover is not de-facto proof of bias.
News Judgment or Bias?Choosing a story to cover is not de-facto proof of bias.
News Judgment or Bias?
News Judgment or Bias?   Choosing not to cover a story    is not de facto proof of bias
Ratings or Bias?LaToyia Figueroa and Natalee Holloway:        Differences in Coverage
The stronger the emotion,The more likely bias will be charged:                   • Politics                   • Race and G...
How to Spot Bias      Look for evidence of a pattern         of unfairness over time   Compare a variety of news outletses...
News
Media
Bias
vs.
Audience
Bias
Cognitive Dissonance:Democratic Brains vs. Republican Brains      This is Your Brain on Politics
Responses to Cognitive Dissonance      Selective Distortion               &          Retention  People tend to distort (or...
Responses to Cognitive Dissonance     Source Misattribution  When they do remember sources,   people may selectively attri...
Responses to Cognitive Dissonance       Confirmation Bias We tend to pursue information that   only reflects our point of ...
Responses to Cognitive Dissonance Peer Influence on Perception Our perceptions of things like size or  distance can be imp...
Responses to Cognitive Dissonance
News Bias vs. Audience Bias             The War in Lebanon, 1982Does Being More Informed Guarantee ThatYou Will Be a Less-...
“Hostile Media Effect”                             • A belief among partisans that                             news report...
“Hostile Media Effect”                            Pew Research Center, 2009             Press Accuracy Rating Hits Two Dec...
Yeah,
Yeah…But
What
About
Bias?During Obama’s first 100 days in office, “…positive stories about Obama haveoutweighed negati...
Since viewers perceive themedia to be biased, can we infer that the media is, in        fact, biased?
Does public perception ofmedia bias have anything todo with the fact that liberal media bias is the focus of   one network...
Can we infer from the fact    that reporters haveideological beliefs that their reporting will reflect these     ideologica...
Is it possible, either through methodological checks andbalances (VIA) or reflective  policing of one’s biases tocombat thi...
Is Individual Objectivity Realistic?Is Organizational Objectivity More Realistic?
Journalists submit to the discipline ofv  erification, a newsroom system of aggressive peer review and a code of          ...
Voters on Income Tax LevelsSince January 2009 have your Federal income taxes:                   A) Gone Down              ...
Voters on Scientists’ Views of      Climate ChangeDo you think that MOST SCIENTISTS believe that:          A) Climate chan...
Misinformation and the ElectionThe good news: increasing exposure    to news sources decreased         misinformation… The...
Misinformation and the 2010 Electionwww.worldpublicopinion.org / University of Maryland Study
Misinformation and the Election Most scientist think that climate    change is not occurring      Fox News Consumers      ...
Conclusions Are
there
examples
of
unfair
news
stories?               Absolutely   Is
unfairness
an
automaEc
sign
of
bias? ...
Today’s Key Lessons          of News Literacy: Don’t judge the news media on the basis of one  news outlet or story. Don’...
What are your biases?Project Implicit
Due next time    Opposing viewpoints1. Choose one of the topics   listed in the instructions2. Find stories that represent...
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351 lecture 7 handout

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Center for News Literacy, Stony Brook University. Adapted for BYU News Literacy.

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  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/08/democrats-climate-change-big-guns-republicans\n\nhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1230113/The-devastating-book-debunks-climate-change.html\n
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  • http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/10/nyregion/10marriage.html?partner=rss&emc=rss\n
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  • Plous, Scott (1993), The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making,\n
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  • (From story in the Times:) “When someone says several nice things about you and one derogatory thing, what sticks in your mind? People who are deeply invested in one side are quicker to spot and remember aspects of the news that hurt than they are to see aspects that help, said Richard Perloff, a Cleveland State University political communication researcher.\nStanford psychologist Lee D. Ross explains it like this:"When you are persuaded by something, you don't think it is propaganda”. "Israelis know they see the world the way they do because they are Israelis, and Arabs, too. The difference is people think in their case, their special identities are a source of enlightenment, whereas other people's source of enlightenment is a source of bias."\n
  • http://www.people-press.org/2009/09/13/press-accuracy-rating-hits-two-decade-low/\n
  • \nhttp://pewresearch.org/pubs/1206/media-coverage-of-obama-100-days\n
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  • Transcript of "351 lecture 7 handout"

    1. 1. Week 7Fairness, Balance, & Bias
    2. 2. Mark WillesCEO Deseret Media Company How
to
be
trusted
 voices
of
light
and
 knowledge Thursday,
11:00
a.m. BRMB
Atrium
    3. 3. Mark WillesCEO Deseret Media Company Extra
Credit:
 What
are
the
 strengths
and
 weaknesses
of
 Deseret
Media
 Company’s
efforts
to
 promote
an
 informed
ciAzenry?
    4. 4. Is the News Media Biased?
    5. 5. What the Public Believes74% say news organizations tend to favor one side in dealing with political and social issues Only 18% say they deal fairly well with all sides.The proportion saying the press favors one side has jumped 8 % since 2007 and 21% since 1985 -2009survey Press Accuracy Rating Hits Two Decade Low
    6. 6. What the Public Believes 50% believe the media has a liberal slant 22% believe the media has a conservative slant -Pew Research Center, 2009 survey Press Accuracy Rating Hits Two Decade Low
    7. 7. No Doubts“Now, it is common knowledge that the mainstream media from the major television networks to the country’s most influential newspapers are biased against the GOP.”
    8. 8. No Doubts"Hosts
on
Fox
raise
money
on
the
air
for
Republican
candidates,
they
endorse
them
explicitly,
they
use
their
Fox
News
profile
to
headline
fundraisers
…
They
can
do
that
because
theres
no
rule
against
that
at
Fox.
They
run
as
a
poliEcal
operaEon,
were
not.”
 –
Rachel
Maddow
    9. 9. Is there a perception of bias or is the bias real?
    10. 10. Three Questions Today:• How do we know if a news article is fair?• How do we know if a news outlet is biased?• What’s the difference between news media bias and audience bias?
    11. 11. What is missing?
    12. 12. Balance, Fairness and Bias
    13. 13. Balance, Fairness and Bias What’s Missing?
    14. 14. What’s the Difference Between Fairness and Balance?
    15. 15. Key DefinitionsBalance: Equality between the totals of the two(or more) sides of the account. Balance is more technical; a quantitative measurement.
    16. 16. What Is Balance?
    17. 17. Can Balance Be the Opposite of Fairness?Should Holocaust Deniers Get Equal Space?
    18. 18. Is Balance the Same as Fairness?Should Climate Change Doubters Get Equal Space?
    19. 19. Key DefinitionsFairness: Marked by impartiality and honesty. Free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism. Being fair to the evidence.
    20. 20. Finding Fairness:• Fair play• Fair language• Fair presentation
    21. 21. Fair play:• Obvious effort to include relevant perspectives• People, Organizations get to respond to negative charges
    22. 22. Fair Play
    23. 23. Fair
Play
In
Cases
of
Serious
AllegaAons
    24. 24. Fair Play: Avoid Loaded Words “Right-to-Life” vs. “Anti-Abortion” “Pro-Choice” vs. “Pro-Abortion” “Ruthless” vs. “Tough” “Admitted” vs. “Said”“Islamic Community Center” vs. “Ground Zero Mosque”
    25. 25. Fair Presentation: Avoids prejudicial photosPresents photos and other materials in a neutral way.
    26. 26. Fair Presentation:
    27. 27. Fair Presentation:
    28. 28. Key DefinitionsBias: A predisposition that distorts your ability to fairly weigh the evidence and prevents you from reaching a fair or accurate judgment.
    29. 29. Fair, Unfair, or Biased?School Bus Aide Busted Dealing Methadone
    30. 30. The News Literacy Definition: Bias: a pattern of unfairness
    31. 31. Common Flaws in “Bias” Claims “The news media is biased” isan over-generalization. Some outlets, maybe.Opinion Journalism by an organization doesn’t necessarily prove there’s slant in the news coverage. Guilt by association is a fallacy.
    32. 32. Mistake or Bias?
    33. 33. Sloppy Reporting or Bias? Dan Rather and George Bush
    34. 34. Opinion or Bias?
    35. 35. News Judgment or Bias?Choosing a story to cover is not de-facto proof of bias.
    36. 36. News Judgment or Bias?Choosing a story to cover is not de-facto proof of bias.
    37. 37. News Judgment or Bias?
    38. 38. News Judgment or Bias? Choosing not to cover a story is not de facto proof of bias
    39. 39. Ratings or Bias?LaToyia Figueroa and Natalee Holloway: Differences in Coverage
    40. 40. The stronger the emotion,The more likely bias will be charged: • Politics • Race and Gender • Social Issues • Religion
    41. 41. How to Spot Bias Look for evidence of a pattern of unfairness over time Compare a variety of news outletsespecially to search for a bias by omission Take note of the self-interest of those alleging bias
    42. 42. News
Media
Bias
vs.
Audience
Bias
    43. 43. Cognitive Dissonance:Democratic Brains vs. Republican Brains This is Your Brain on Politics
    44. 44. Responses to Cognitive Dissonance Selective Distortion & Retention People tend to distort (or forget) incoming information if it does not match their point of view.
    45. 45. Responses to Cognitive Dissonance Source Misattribution When they do remember sources, people may selectively attribute comforting information to a more respectable source .
    46. 46. Responses to Cognitive Dissonance Confirmation Bias We tend to pursue information that only reflects our point of view.
    47. 47. Responses to Cognitive Dissonance Peer Influence on Perception Our perceptions of things like size or distance can be impaired by group pressure.
    48. 48. Responses to Cognitive Dissonance
    49. 49. News Bias vs. Audience Bias The War in Lebanon, 1982Does Being More Informed Guarantee ThatYou Will Be a Less-Biased News Consumer?
    50. 50. “Hostile Media Effect” • A belief among partisans that news reports are painting them in the worst possible light. The War in Lebanon, 1982 People who are deeply involved in one side of an issue or another are quicker to spot and remember aspects of a news story that are negative.The best-informed partisans are the most likely to see bias.
    51. 51. “Hostile Media Effect” Pew Research Center, 2009 Press Accuracy Rating Hits Two Decade Low
    52. 52. Yeah,
Yeah…But
What
About
Bias?During Obama’s first 100 days in office, “…positive stories about Obama haveoutweighed negative by two-to-one" -- 42 percentto 20 percent -- while 38 percent were neutral ormixed.” -Pew Research.org (a major media research organization)
    53. 53. Since viewers perceive themedia to be biased, can we infer that the media is, in fact, biased?
    54. 54. Does public perception ofmedia bias have anything todo with the fact that liberal media bias is the focus of one network’s entire marketing campaign?
    55. 55. Can we infer from the fact that reporters haveideological beliefs that their reporting will reflect these ideological beliefs?
    56. 56. Is it possible, either through methodological checks andbalances (VIA) or reflective policing of one’s biases tocombat this bias if it exists?
    57. 57. Is Individual Objectivity Realistic?Is Organizational Objectivity More Realistic?
    58. 58. Journalists submit to the discipline ofv erification, a newsroom system of aggressive peer review and a code of Iethics that defines ndependence, and demands transparency-based A ccountability.
    59. 59. Voters on Income Tax LevelsSince January 2009 have your Federal income taxes: A) Gone Down B) Stayed the Same C) Gone up 86 %
    60. 60. Voters on Scientists’ Views of Climate ChangeDo you think that MOST SCIENTISTS believe that: A) Climate change is occurring B) Views are evenly divided C) Climate change is not occurring 45%
    61. 61. Misinformation and the ElectionThe good news: increasing exposure to news sources decreased misinformation… The bad news: in some news sources higher levels of exposure increased misinformation
    62. 62. Misinformation and the 2010 Electionwww.worldpublicopinion.org / University of Maryland Study
    63. 63. Misinformation and the Election Most scientist think that climate change is not occurring Fox News Consumers Rarely 30% Once a week 45% Almost everyday 60%
    64. 64. Conclusions Are
there
examples
of
unfair
news
stories? Absolutely Is
unfairness
an
automaEc
sign
of
bias? No Can
a
news
outlet
exhibit
bias? Yes,
but
it’s
hard
to
proveIs
the
percep%on
of
bias
as
dangerous
as
bias
itself? Yes
    65. 65. Today’s Key Lessons of News Literacy: Don’t judge the news media on the basis of one news outlet or story. Don’t judge one outlet on the basis of one mistake--look for patterns. Stay open to information that challenges your previously-held beliefs and assumptions
    66. 66. What are your biases?Project Implicit
    67. 67. Due next time Opposing viewpoints1. Choose one of the topics listed in the instructions2. Find stories that represent polar opposing views3. First read that which most closely aligns with your views4. Follow directions for completing the assignment
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