Since citizens cannot cast informed votes or make knowledgeable decisions on matters of public policy if the information on which they depend is distorted, it is vital to American democracy that television news and other media be fair and unbiased.
Liberal bias in the news media is a reality. In a recent Pew Research Center Poll, the majority of Americans believe that the mass media slant reports in favor of the liberal position on current issues.
[The bias] is not the result of a vast left-wing conspiracy [there is] an unconscious “groupthink” mentality that taints news coverage and allows only one side of a debate to receive a fair hearing. When that happens, the truth suffers. A reporter’s job is to present a balanced story. As you read, listen to and watch news stories, you probably already notice stories that you think are biased. To see if they really are biased, you need to determine if the story falls into at least one of the several forms in which bias occurs.
The above is excerpted and adapted from How to Identify Liberal Media Bias by Brent H. Baker, Vice President for Research and Publications at MediaResearchCenter.org.