Regardless of our political affiliations, it seems that every story, every article, and every piece of breaking news sheds at least some negative light on President Donald Trump.
In this particular post, I’m not trying to examine if any of his actions or the actions of his staff have been generally good or bad for America since we probably all could agree that we share many different opinions on what is good and what is bad for the country (which is OK!) We all have unique thoughts on politics and policy, which makes our system of government so inspiring, yet at the same time, so complex.
With all of that in consideration, I want to talk about how the news influences our view of current events. Most people are at least vaguely aware that news organizations can hold their own biases, and most times that’s clear by the words they use in their headlines. To highlight this, I did a little research.
I decided to do a general search on Bing News about President Trump’s recent address to Congress. Here are a few of the headlines looking at his performance:
My point is not to make a value judgement on Trump’s character or even his actual performance. What I am trying to do is show the many ways that a public figure’s performance can be interpreted, even down to the photos that news organizations use (Check out the “Trump’s Second Chance” photo – an unflattering close up that makes us feel that he’s out of control vs. the Reuters’ article photo where we perceive him as strong and in control.) Based on our own particular views of how the country should or shouldn’t be run, these headlines further solidify our stances.
My challenge for you is to step outside of your news-comfort zone. We should take in a wide variety of sources before forming our opinions. Get the cut and dried facts. But we need to hear from you: what else can we do to counter this news hypnosis that forms our opinions for us?
If you’ve seen examples of bias, let me know in the comments! Share your opinions on news organizations and how well you think they’re doing at reporting (or not reporting) on important stories.