Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Media bias

Doug Peterson, Jul 07, 2020

The focus of this post is the latest version of the Interactive Media Bias Chart. You may have seen it before (or perhaps just a flat image). This resource is interesting not only because it demonstrates how an interactive chart can be a valuable learning tool but also because it demonstrates how such tools can manipulate or obscure one's perception of reality. As Doug Peterson notes, it's mostly based on U.S. sources, and therefore reflects a U.S. reality. The placement of hard-conservative sources like the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, and the Economist at the centre (ie., 'neutral or balanced biased') demonstrates a definite skew to the right. You can see this clearly if you drop everything with 'reliability issues' from the chart (34.00 and below) and redraw the 'centre' line. I've redrawn it as such and included some sources omitted in the chart; the image is here. The result shows a much more accurate picture with most of the news media (and especially corporate media) biased to the right, with a few alternative sources to the centre and left.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Sept 27, 2020 4:37 p.m.