Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on March 8, 2017

PART I – Straight news stories are supposed to avoid bias and report only the facts. The following headline and first two paragrapahs illustrate an example of a straight news story.

On Monday, upon learning of North Korea’s multiple missile launch, the UK Guardian ran the story

“World leaders condemn North Korea over missile launches” — with the sub-headline:
“Call made for emergency UN security council meeting after action shocks international community and angers Japan and South Korea”

The news report began with the following two paragraphs:

A shocked international community has condemned North Korea after it launched four ballistic missiles on Monday morning, three of which fell into Japanese waters.

Calling on Pyongyang to “stop its provocative actions,” the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, said the launches were in violation of multiple UN security council resolutions and threatened international peace and security.

Why is this good reporting?


Compare two news reports from the day after North Korea’s ballistic missile launch, which Pyongyang conducted in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions:

EXAMPLE #A from CBS News on March 7:

Headline: “U.S. moves parts of controversial missile defense to South Korea” — with the sub-headline:
“Deployment angers North Korea, China and Russia alike”

First paragraph:
SEOUL — U.S. missile launchers and other equipment needed to set up a controversial missile defense system have arrived in South Korea, the U.S. and South Korean militaries said Tuesday, a day after North Korea test-launched four ballistic missiles into the ocean near Japan.

EXAMPLE #B from Reuters news March 7

Headline: “U.S. starts deploying anti-missile system in South Korea after defiant North’s latest test”

First paragraph:
SEOUL — The United States started to deploy the first elements of its advanced anti-missile defense system in South Korea on Tuesday after North Korea’s test of four ballistic missiles, U.S. Pacific Command said, despite angry opposition from China.