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COMM 2400 Discourse, Culture, and Identities (Tate): Media Bias/Fake News

What is Media Bias? Fake News?

Media bias: the underlying beliefs, political views, and "agenda" of journalists and news producers. This bias, which may be stated or not, influences the selection of what stories are reported and how they are covered.

You may have seen a media bias chart. Such charts may be helpful, but be aware that bias is everywhere, even in the making of bias charts! Here is an article that discusses issues with such charts and related media rating tools.

Cognitive bias affects us all. Even though we can fact-check information using phones and computers, we still fall for fake news and cling to outdated opinions. Why? When our cognitive biases take control, our ability to make logical judgments is limited, and facts take a back seat to deeply held beliefs. (from KQED learning, PBS.)

Fake News has many different definitions. Generally, it is content that is intended to pass as unbiased news but is not true, accurate or honest in some way and is implemented for political, financial or some other type of gain.

Read The Term "Fake News' is Doing Great Harm by Chris Ratcliffe on the website The Conversation about the dangers of how the term is used.

Read How to Escape Your Filter Bubble for a Clearer View by Amanda Hess, published in the New York Times on March 3, 2017.

Read Why We Fall for Fake News: Hijacked Thinking or Laziness? by Kirsten Weir, published on the APA website on February 11, 2020.

Resources for Understanding Bias/Fake News