Nothing to see here, Part 2

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on October 4, 2017

Nothing to see here, Part 2

New Orleans Saints players sit on the bench during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.

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Example of Media Bias:

The NFL is a multibillion-dollar business.  There were numerous news reports on the players and their right to free speech and their reasons for protesting during the national anthem.  On what every NFL player/team did, or planned to do at upcoming games.

What don’t we know? What hasn’t been reported? How have the players’ protests during the singing of the National Anthem at football games affected business?

  • Has the media given the public a clear picture on how the protests have affected the NFL?
  • Have the players’ protests affected NFL ratings? Has viewership dropped?
  • Have ticket sales to games dropped? If so, have all teams been affected in the same way, or do they vary team to team?
  • Have any sponsors pulled their ads from NFL games? Many promote themselves as very patriotic (Anheuser-Busch, Ford, etc.) – have fans called them on it?
  • Some fans started a  “Boycott the NFL” day for November 12. It was chosen because it is the Sunday closest to Veteran’s Day. Have there been any interviews of this group? How are fans reacting to this?

NOTE: The role of the media is to:

  • Inform the public as honestly, fairly, and accurately as possible about news crucial to a democracy.
    [from law.duke .edu (autumn+2008)].
  • Journalists are expected to strive to be fair and complete, and to tell an accurate and authentic story, one that reflects reality, not their own perception of it or anyone else’s.
    The challenge for journalists is to report all significant viewpoints in a way that is fair to those involved and that also presents a complete and honest picture to the audience.  [from america .gov/2006/April.]

The Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics states the following under the section “Act Independently”:

Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.
Read the “Code of Ethics” at: spj.org/pdf/ethicscode.pdf.

Questions

1. What type of bias is this an example of?

2. Just as the story of the players and President Trump’s reaction to their protests has been reported on non-stop, there should be multiple news stories on the other half of the story. Do an internet search and list at least 5 headlines from the bigger news outlets (CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, etc.) on each of the following:

  • How have the protests have affected the NFL?
  • Have the players’ protests affected NFL ratings? Has viewership dropped?
  • Have ticket sales to games dropped? If so, have all teams been affected in the same way, or do they vary team by team?
  • Have any sponsors pulled their ads from NFL games?
  • Is the overall response by fans to the players’ protest against the national anthem positive or negative?

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

1. Bias by story selection and omission.

2. Answers vary, but most likely: ‘There are a few anecdotal stories of individual fans who gave away their team gear, but there are few/no stories on the effects of the player protests.’