Media Bias in America?

January 25, 2012
By laurel.ruesch SILVER, Hartland, Wisconsin
laurel.ruesch SILVER, Hartland, Wisconsin
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

America was founded on the principle of freedom. Our freedom of speech, religion, and to be the people we want to be is what makes us quintessentially American. Our government was instituted because of the oppression that immigrants were facing as English citizens, and our government needs to continue to fulfill the role that it was made to; without overstepping their boundaries.
Newspapers and unbiased media is something many Americans take for granted and some people are unaware of what this country could be like if media and government were not independent of each other.

Over the past few years, many nations’ newspapers around the world have been censored by their respective governments. If an article or news piece doesn’t portray the government in a positive light or has some inclination of unrest among a nations people, newspapers aren’t allowed to print it. While Americans have yet to experience the wrath of a tyrannical government’s influence on media and freedom of speech, that doesn’t mean that something similar to the Chinese “Great Fire Wall” could happen here. With bills like SOPA and PIPA making their way through the House, American’s will become subject to stringent rules on online streaming. User-content sites like YouTube will become liable for users who illegally upload content – and eventually, be forced to shut down for good.

Not only does government censorship play a role in the destruction of unbiased media, but so do media outlets that are decidedly “liberal” or “conservative”. While FOX is known as being the conservative news network, in reality it’s just less liberal than CNN and NBC. Recently, media bias played a role in the 2008 election. Media outlets openly portrayed Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin as unorganized, uneducated, and unversed in the ways of our nation’s government and kept quiet about eventual President Barack Obama’s contact with shady CEO’s and radically left-winged groups like ACORN. The media’s portrayal of various political candidates definitely made an effect on our nation’s voters, namely young professionals eager for “change”.

Our media, whether it is newspapers or television shows, while not perfect, needs to remain independent of the government. People, now more than ever, rely on the media to provide them with the most-up-to-date, accurate, and impartial news that is possible. Part of what makes us Americans is our ability to form our own opinions about any subject, whether it is about politics or the latest court case – without a subjective media’s intervention.

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