Fact Based or Biased?

We watch the media on TV, read Twitter prompts for articles, and see blurbs on Facebook related to news reports. But what we fail to see, are the many inaccuracies these news reports are reliant to mention. Rumors and made up information is allover the media. Whether it’s about celebrity gossip, unclear weather information, or another viral video of alleged aliens on Earth. Unfortunately, the Middle East is a victim when it comes to these incorrect articles. Israel is constantly critiqued for their actions. Whether articles are spitting straight falsities or they omit crucial details of the report; they are obviously bias and urging the public to view one side of the story.

MSNBC is a recent example of this type of reporting. According to Josh Feldman on Mediaite.com, Ayman Mohyeldin, an NBC News reporter, described an incident where a Palestinian terrorist was shot while charging at police officers with a knife. Mohyeldin did not discuss the knife the attacker was holding, and instead stressed how he was shot. Reporting the situation without including all the details gives the viewers an incorrect perspective. Without further knowledge someone might believe the officers were in the wrong after Mohyeldin’s implications.

But Moheyldin is not the only reporter announcing incorrect information. Unfortunately, these types of reports are quite common. According to Eric Rozenman on Camera.org, The Washington Post released some incorrect information mixed with bias beliefs. The idea that the popular newspaper would publish obviously bias pieces is unfortunate in of itself. But they do call these their opinion pages, and while everyone is welcomed to spread their own opinion, the way The Washington Post advertised this column can seem unnerving. Rozenman pointed out how the placement of these pieces was “more prominent” than previous contributors. The content of these columns is bad enough, but to give them so much space and illustrations gets them more attention from viewers. What is the message The Washington Post is sending? That they welcome these kinds of columns, and want people to believe the inaccuracies they discuss?

Omitting important factors of a story is a common theme among reporters. According to Ian Tuttle on Nationalreview.com, quite a few media outlets use ignorant titles that promote inaccurate events, leaving out main factors of the story. Los Angeles Times, NBC News, New York Times, BBC, and the Independent all began their articles with ambiguous statements suggesting Israel’s actions. Mentioning the Palestinians that were killed, or the Israelis that killed Palestinians.

Some of these publications changed their titles a few times to adjust the meaning, while others continued to make statements reinforcing their already inaccurate title. Just the title of an article impacts how the article is read. Even if they are not trying to show bias, they are definitely insinuating which side they’re on. Readers often only click articles based on titles; meaning people clicked these articles because they believed the first line. At that point, the content in the column is not paid attention to, since the reader has already made their opinion based only on the big block letters they read first.

My point here is not to disregard other news sources, or suggest only some media outlets are correct. And I am not saying I know all the facts. My point is to open your eyes to the world of inaccurate journalism. While we want to believe and trust everything released to the public, we cannot. And it is important to realize this while watching the news. Make sure you do your research and look into all the facts and all the sides before coming to a conclusion and opinion. Be your own journalist.

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