High-Bias Leads

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on March 30, 2005

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Directions

-Read the excerpt below from James Taranto's "Best of the Web" post at opinionjournal.com on March 18th.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the question.

The Associated Press plans to offer its member newspapers “two different leads for many of its news stories,” reports Editor & Publisher, the news industry trade magazine:

“The concept is simple: On major spot stories–especially when events happen early in the day–we will provide you with two versions to choose between,” the AP said in an advisory to members. “One will be the traditional ‘straight lead’ that leads with the main facts of what took place. The other will be the ‘optional,’ an alternative approach that attempts to draw in the reader through imagery, narrative devices, perspective or other creative means.”

The E&P piece concludes with these examples:

TRADITIONAL
MOSUL, Iraq (AP)–A suicide attacker set off a bomb that tore through a funeral tent jammed with Shiite mourners Thursday, splattering blood and body parts over rows of overturned white plastic chairs. The attack, which killed 47 and wounded more than 100, came as Shiite and Kurdish politicians in Baghdad said they overcame a major stumbling block to forming a new coalition government.

OPTIONAL
MOSUL, Iraq (AP)–Yet again, almost as if scripted, a day of hope for a new, democratic Iraq turned into a day of tears as a bloody insurgent attack undercut a political step forward.

On Thursday, just as Shiite and Kurdish politicians in Baghdad were telling reporters that they overcame a major stumbling block to forming a new coalition government, a suicide attacker set off a bomb that tore through a funeral tent jammed with Shiite mourners in the northern city of Mosul.

That “almost as if scripted” is a wonderful touch–a confirmation that many journalists have their own bad-news script in reporting on Iraq.

Questions

What type of bias is the excerpt below an example of?


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Answer(s)

The excerpt is an example of bias by spin.