The Impact of Media Bias


Media bias is a contravention of professional standards by members of the fourth estate presenting in the form of favoritism of one section of society when it comes to the selection and reporting of events and stories as well as the extent of coverage (Beach 1). According to the code of conduct of the media, practitioners are expected to be neutral, impartial and factual.

Therefore, bias occurs when the journalist/reporter decides to give a twist that is unsubstantiated, with the aim of satisfying the demands of a particular individual. This essay seeks to analyze the impact of media bias in society. To this end, examples from modern day living shall be drawn and coupled with appropriate explanations to adequately evaluate the concept.

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Methodology Statement

A mixed method of both qualitative and quantitative research shall be used to for this task. The research will be based on secondary data collection. According to Creswell (228), the mixed method is most ideal for research as it provides for exhaustive collection and analysis of information. Data will be åxtractåd from various journals, articles and books.

The criteria of selection for the literature will be the rålåvancå to the research topic as well as the year of publication. Both public and private libraries as well as online libraries will be visited in order to access the data. This research will be partly evidence based and partly founded on professional research by professionals in the field. Various articles will be studied in order to provide background information which will essentially give credibility to the final essay.

Information from literature will serve to provide explanation as regards to media bias. This will be very crucial information that will make the research report appeal to both professionals and the general public. For the latter, it may require that some of the information obtained from the books and other publications be broken down into simple language and at the same time illustrations drawn from the commonly applied systems of online identity.

Reasons for selecting the above methodology

Like with any other professional field of study, political theory studies have to be conducted in such a way that the offer credibility to the practitioner. In such a specialized field, the strength lies in substantiation and particularly the numbers obtained from real life scenarios to support collected evidence. With this knowledge in mind, effort will be made to obtain relevant information to the particular topic in question and this will be accompanied by proper citation.

For any professional study, chances are that extensive research has been carried out by professionals in the field before. Consequently, in order to establish the backbone of a given research project, it is only necessary that extensive review of literature be carried before identifying seeking firsthand information from the field.

The latter, i.e. information collected from the field is also necessary since it helps give professional credibility to the project. Combining results from both sources would serve to foster their symbiotic relationship with one offering background information and the other presenting up-to-date information on the topic.

Literature review

Some of the stakeholders whose influence leads to media bias include governments which can threaten to impose overt or covert censorship in order to attain a particular objective (Xiang 4). The owners of media houses can also impose their authority over the journalist in order to get them to report in a manner that favors their own interests.

Market forces also determine whether there will be a bias in reporting and coverage. Among these forces include, the demands and preferences of the target audience as well as the needs of advertisers (who are the main source of revenue for media houses).

Types of bias

There four primary forms of bias and these are briefly explained below:

Advertising bias- This is a very common type of bias and it mainly presents in the form of stories and news items being slanted or skewed towards the demands of advertising entities.

Corporate bias-In this type of bias, stories are presented in a manner that aims at pleasing the corporate shareholders of particular media houses. This is common in media companies that are privately owned and which seek to always maintain the names of their associates in good light, even when these individuals are involved in scandalous activities.

Mainstream bias- This bias presents in the form of cautious selection and reporting of stories. In this regard, practitioners focus on what all other media houses are covering in order to steer clear from controversy.

Sensationalism- This presents in the form of media stakeholders giving exceptional events a lot of coverage such that it appears that the event being covered is more common than is assumed.

Research process

The first step in conducting the research will come in the form of extensive review of literature from various secondary sources. Information on the topic of internal auditing and its integration processes will be collected from company records, journals, Magazines, conference proceedings and websites.

These procedural steps would make it easy to come up with a survey question which will guide us into the third step of the process. In this stage, an analysis of the data obtained shall be carried out and the facts identified to structure the paper.

Effects of media bias

The greatest and most commonly reported effect of media bias is on the political front, especially around election time (Knight and Chiang 1-39). It mainly presents in the form of one candidate seeking or buying favor from particular media houses such that the give him intense coverage while obscuring his opponents.

Consequently, the person with the most financial might ends up pitching his candidacy and manifestos in a manner that gives him undeserved advantage over his competition. The end-result of such slanting of coverage is that the public ends up voting for individuals who do not have their interests at heart.

Another effect of media bias is the creation of animosity amongst individuals of different cultural or ethnic groups (Streissguth 98). This is common in Africa and other countries of the third world and especially during national election campaigns.

In these countries, the politicians are always after gaining favor from the largest ethnic communities. As such they end up looking for ways of using the media to make them appear like they are doing their best to give members of these large communities the best of everything.

With this happening, persons from the smaller tribes that are overshadowed by the scramble for big votes feel discriminated and end up developing an unwarranted animosity towards members of the larger community. This was the case in Rwanda in 1994 where media personalities were used to push the agenda of politicians.

As a result, the Tutsi tribe was presented as the enemy of the bigger Hutu tribe. The situation turned into a massacre of the former by the latter and by the time the peace was restored over one million people had lost their lives. This is in consideration of the fact that all the damage was caused in less than three months.

The same happens when individuals from a particular race obtain their own media houses and seek to ensure that coverage is skewed in their favor (Beach 1). For instance, in cosmopolitan United States, if individuals of the Asian race create their own media house with its own television station, radio, magazine and newspaper, it may appear as if they are trying to isolate themselves from other races. As a result, individuals from the other racial origins may end up regarding them as enemies to societal unity and harmonious living.


This paper has assessed the element of media bias on society. It has been shown that greatest impact of the professional vice is presented in the political front where aspirants for political seats seek to gain advantage over opponents by using their financial might to buy media coverage.

Aside from this, the article has illustrated that media bias, especially when it leads to favoritism of certain ethnic and tribal groupings ends up generating animosity amongst individuals.

It is worth noting that this paper has without particular mention concluded that media bias cannot have positive effects. This is particularly because for any positivity to be attained, especially in the media, all the relevant stakeholders must be allowed involvement on an equal platform.

Works Cited

Beach, Justin. General effects of bias in the media. 25 March 2011. Web. 1 August 2011

Creswell, J. W. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2003. Print.

Knight, Brian G and Chun-Fang Chiang. “Media Bias and Influence: Evidence from Newspaper Endorsements”. NBER. Working Paper No. 14445. Web. 1 August 2011 Streissguth, Thomas. Media bias. Marshall Cavendish, 2006. Print.

Xiang, Yi. Media Bias, competition and efficiency. INSEAD. September 2005. Web. 1 August 2011


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