Several critics in the media presume that there is a perfectly fair way or objective way of representing every event in the world. They assume that deviating from fair depiction of actual information is accounts for media bias. ‘Bias’ in media context means that a news institution, editor or reporter is aware how the event looks like, but they modify or tweak the event to advance economical, political and ideological aims. This is true in case of climate change, where media organizations have distorted information in past over important issue like climate change (Wemple). It is true that ideologically driven, intentional or politically motivated bias normally does not dominate the news institutions in United States. In the social sciences, bias has been largely replaced with the term "framing." Use of frames in the media is done with, “principles of selection, emphasis, and presentation composed of little tacit theories about what exists, what happens, and what matters” (Schudson 35).
In news media, there are systemic biases; this includes bias on the part of glorifying the journalists. Most journalists at workplace work to maintain and develop their social relations with their colleagues and sources and glorify their cultural image as the news providers for the world. This can be understood when news reporters use experts in their stories not to provide their viewers with relevant information but for certifying their own viewpoint, access, effort and superior knowledge (Shudson 61). Journalists also verbally and visually establish their personal authority by making suggestions of their personal knowledge and proximity to any event they cover. No matter how the news was collected, it is always presented in a manner that endorses the illusion of journalist having powerful sites and sources. One such example is of Fox News reporter, Stuart Varney, who claimed. “Looks to me like we're looking at global cooling. Forget this global warming. That's just my opinion” (Wemple). Global warming is just another liberal conspiracy. Despite the presence of a significant scientific data to establish the climate trends, even though several models of global warming are predicting more extreme weather, not just warming, decades of peer-reviewed study can be analyzed and portrayed as a joke and destroyed in one cold winter weekend (Stewart).
Few scholars continue to emphasize that uniformity of media is driven from their role as the important component of improving the interests of capitalism in ‘corporate’ United States. This approach is popular in few quarters of the left-wing and sees the capitalist self-interest on every turn, in every cover of the TIME magazine to every episode of 60 Minutes and every front page of New York Times, shoring up the capitalist system. The Theoretical emphasis placed on framing ahead of bias in media reveals that choice and decisions that are involved in manufacturing of news are based on the marketplace, nature of the organizations and assumptions made by the news professionals rather than individual bias (Schudson 47).
Since 1970s, political scientists and sociologists have conducted studies on the basis of ethnographic observations of news media practices that shows bias in media is driven from professional achievements rather than intentional ideological perversion due to constraints of pressures of organization. News organizations and reporters produce bias regardless of the individual reporters’ outlook and media ownership. The main source of distortion is news organization’s quest for objectivity. There are five distortions that are cited in news reporting these are official, technical, detached, negative and event-centered/person-centered/action centered (Schudson 49).
Stewart, J. War on Carbon. The Daily Show. thedailyshow.cc.com. January 2014. Web. May 2014
Wemple, E. Jon Stewart of ‘The Daily Show’ rips Fox News on climate change. The Washington Post. washingtonpost.com. Jan 2014, Web. May 2014
Schudson, M. THE SOCIOLOGY OF NEWS. New York, United States: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003. Print