It is a well-known fact that the usage of mass media creates a sense of bias within the people, i.e. who end up as the intended or unintended audiences. This is because the mass media propagates a message which may or may not be for the well-being of the people. Often times, it culminates in spreading a message which was not the intended message to begin with. However, at other times, the news media only propagates a message which it knows for its own self, thus building upon a sentiment or a narrative, which may or may not be liked by the general audiences. There thus seem to be quite a few aspects linked with the mass media as it plays its due or undue part towards causing bias within the general public (Doldi 2008). The role played by mass media in this day and age leaves a lot to be desired of it, no matter where this media form is propagating its message, around the world.
Ever since the media became strong, the proponents and supporters of this form of communication medium started to realize that media can be used for a number of different angles and perspectives that the audiences can draw upon. Now it is the prerogative of the news channel or the mass media enterprise to suggest a particular message or dispel an impression that it deems fit (Aitken 2009). This could be in line with its policy or just to draw attention of the audience towards a meticulous point. There could be a number of aspects attached with it, and one can only wonder why this would be the case. The role of mass media is to say it as it is, yet this seldom happens due to one or the other agenda that the mass media entity is carrying or believes in preaching. The causes are quite a few but what it does in essence is to let the people know that a mass media channel or any other media vehicle has a definitive stance and will not stray from it no matter how difficult it gets for them (Johnson 2015). The cause of mass media bias is to create an ‘angle’ – a perspective which may just be flawed in its own entirety yet given out to form an impression. The bias therefore draws in automatically, and leaves a bad taste in the mouth of all concerned. Then there are times when the cause is derived from being a vital cog in the wheel of the stakeholders who are running the show in essence. What this suggests is that a particular political party takes over and then creates a message which is united on a number of fronts, all over the media – so much so that it starts to be viewed as a definitive point – no matter how fake it is. Mass media bias is therefore a reality which has made people feel agitated about the actual role of the media – which is to form a balanced opinion and present facts as they are. Unfortunately, this does not come about as such when the eventual aim is to angle the opinion more than anything else.
The effects of this mass media bias is usually witnessed in the form of people alienating the television, by making up their own opinions, being antagonized against the media types, and so on. There is immense disliking for the fact that mass media is being biased towards a particular group or supporting another one. The audiences understand the dictum which is being preached to them on a day to day basis. The manner under which they are being ‘fed’ the various forms of news is something that creates a sense of disharmony amongst their ranks (Hassan 2014). Often times they do not feel what they are being subliminally given a stance or an opinion to which they had no liking or appreciation for in the past, yet it was repeated so many times that it became a part of their thinking ideologies. This is where the trouble comes in. Mass media can influence the lives of the people, which becomes a huge nuisance if seen from the correct perspectives. When this comes about, there is bound to be a number of problems for the people at large, who stop differentiating between reality and what is being fed upon them in the name of fake news. Hence a sense of bias creeps in within the related equations, which is always detrimental to the cause of the mass media avenues, outlets and types. When such realms are exposed time and again, the element of bias has finally made its way through the corridors of the mass media and on to the lives of the people (Tsang 2000). They can resist but not remain aloof of whatever is happening around them or what is being told to them in the name of a corrected stance. This is indeed the bias that is being discussed here at the end of the day.
- Aitken, Rob. An essential guide to audience development. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 27(6), 2009.
- Doldi, Luisa. Media bias: finding it, fixing it. Online Information Review, 32(1), 2008.
- Hassan, Nasrath. Media relations in an evolving media landscape. Journal of Communication Management, 18(3), 2014.
- Johnson, Gareth. The handbook of Media and Mass Communication theory. Reference Reviews, 29(2), 2015.
- Tsang, Daniel. The alternative media: open sources on what’s real. International Journal on Grey Literature, 1(2), 2000.