There are complaints that Americans are terrible about staying informed. However, it is difficult when every major media site publishes US politics news that has a bias. It is important to read news articles without bias so Americans form their own opinion of current events. This is especially true when it comes to politics.
Before committing to reading news articles from a certain media source, it is a good idea to research the reputation and history of the source. Look at how many ads are placed in a newspaper or website. If there are a large number, then the source is beholden to entities, such as special interest groups, local and federal governments, and corporations for funding.
Sometimes certain news sources give an obvious slant on news stories, but the editorial work does not prescribe to that slant. Many reputable sources make a clear separation between news about nigeria and editorial. The problem with editorial work is it also has an opinion, so it depends on how unbiased a reader wants to go.
While reading news stories, readers should take notes throughout the article. Identifying who, what, when, where, how, and why will go a long way in differentiating bias. Make a note of any missing information or extra analysis. Discard extra analysis and further research missing information.
A good exercise to perform when differentiating bias is to see if the reader could use the information to write a completely different news story. If possible, understand that the news story currently being read may not be concrete and accurate.
Analyze the writer and figure out how he or she treats the people they are writing about. Often writers will use the word “claim” in place of explain for witnesses. This subconsciously implants negativity and doubt on the witness. This kind of language is meant to persuade the reader to the writer’s point of view instead of the actual facts of the situation.
The tone of the article is another indicator of the reader being forced into a certain way of thinking. All articles should give the reader a certain feeling, but it is important to differentiate between feelings that are natural and logical and feelings that are a false creation by the writer.
If the feeling relates to the information given, for example a murder makes the reader sad, then it is an appropriate emotion. If the feeling relates to the writer’s opinion, for example a political party is scary, then it is being forced upon the reader.
Look at the whole of the article and compare it to the situation. If there is a source, witness, or explanation that has obviously been ignored, then the article has bias. This holds true if the “why” part of the article is unclear, and if the article fails to present the position of one or more parties involved in the story.
In sensational media, there is a term called buzzwords. These are vague phrases that are meant to incite a severe emotion in a reader without any real information. Investigate the article for undefined terms, such as Christian agenda or homosexual agenda. If a word gives the reader a strong feeling, perhaps it should be ignored and the information itself should be investigated.
Sometimes the writer wants to pull the reader into a particular group. They may ask the reader to identify mentally with a certain group. Examples include regular guys, working class, concerned mothers, Christians, teens, intelligent people. The writer will label readers into these groups to encourage them to stop thinking for themselves.