Bias through placement. Where a story is placed influences what a reader or viewer thinks about its importance. Readers of papers judge first page stories to be more significant than those buried in the back. Similarly, television and radio newscasts run stories that draw ratings first and leave the less significant for later.
Bias by headline. As the most-read part of a newspaper, headlines can convey excitement where little exists. They can express approval or condemnation. They can present carefully hidden bias and prejudices.
Bias by photos, captions and camera angles. Pictures can flatter a person or make them look unpleasant or silly. Which photos a newspaper chooses to run can heavily influence the public's perception of a person or event. On television the choice of visual images is often more important still. Captions and the narration of a TV anchor or reporter are also potential sources of bias.
Bias through use of names and titles. In many places around the world, one person's "terrorist" is another person's "freedom fighter."
Bias by choice of words. The use of positive or negative words with a particular connotation can strongly influence the reader or writer.
©1995 CyberPod. All rights reserved
August 1, 1995