De­cep­tive head­lines sug­gest me­dia bias?

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

I am writ­ing this to in­crease aware­ness on mat­ters of me­dia bias. The news con­tin­ues to gain more and more in­flu­ence amongst the masses but re­cently this in­flu­ence is slowly be­ing abused by news me­dia out­lets. This is most no­tice­able in the head­lines of many well-known news out­lets.

The head­line of a story is what at­tracts the reader to the story. It is the part of the story that pre­pares or po­si­tions the read­ers mind for or against the main point of the story and for most peo­ple this is the only part of the story that they read. There­fore, it is cru­cial that me­dia out­lets pro­vide pre­cise head­lines.

But it might shock you to know that me­dia out­lets fail to do this and end up cre­at­ing mis­lead­ing re­ports on se­ri­ous mat­ters and is­sues of news. An ex­am­ple of this bias in­cludes an ar­ti­cle posted by The New York Times on April 26th, 2017 that ex­plained how vic­tims of a crime com­mit­ted by un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants are be­ing cared for and aided.

The head­line of this ar­ti­cle read, ‘of­fice to aid crime vic­tims is lat­est step in crack­down on im­mi­grants.’ The head­line al­ters the read­ers’ per­cep­tion of the main point of the ar­ti­cle and the is­sue that is be­ing dealt with. It re­moves fo­cus from the aid pro­vided to the crime vic­tims and in­stead fo­cuses on the im­mi­grant pop­u­la­tion as a cause of this crime. This kind of bi­ased head­lines shape the pub­lic views and opin­ions on dif­fer­ent mat­ters.

I be­lieve that news head­lines should be struc­tured in ways that ac­cu­rately pro­ject the story or ar­ti­cle be­ing read, hereby con­trol­ling false nar­ra­tives.

Dean Amadi,

UPEI stu­dent

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