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Media Bias in War - Essay Example

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English 102 Date Media Bias in War It is tough to remain unbiased in times of war. War – which is a prolonged conflict between countries and groups of people - brings death, destruction and hardship affecting all segments of societies engaged in it and beyond…
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Media Bias in War
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Download file to see previous pages The media – which include print and electronic means of communication such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio and the internet – are not immune from such overarching impact of war. In particular, when their own people, ethnic groups, and countries are involved in the war, war reporters and media organizations can hardly remain unbiased unless they are prepared to be called unpatriotic and get demonized Actually, war affects media organizations and their war reporters more than many other segments of warring societies. War reporters have to gather news from the dangerous frontlines where many them lose their lives every year at the hand of one or the other party to war. If a reporter is killed by one side deliberately or accidently, media organizations and the public, out of spontaneous human instinct, often blame the killers and their side and project them in a bad light. Even when a war has not directly affected reporters and media outlets in such fashion, it influences them directly or indirectly in so many other ways. For instance, the death or deployment of a relative or friend in the frontline and disruption of their own plans, like a much-coveted trip, due to war might dilute the neutrality of reporters. When war affects individuals personally, their first instinctive reaction would be to blame the party that they perceive guilty of starting the war and causing them hardships. So much so that human beings blame the boulder when they stumble on it and hurt themselves rather that blaming themselves for not taking caution to avoid hitting it. Besides, so many other factors also often influence reporters and dilute their objectivity and neutrality. Such factors include personal links, philosophical conviction, media organizations’ mission and motto, cultural connections, geographical proximity, conditions in which reporting is done, sympathy for the underdog, etc. Individual reporters, due to their personal links to one of the parties to war or ethical and philosophical conviction, might have their own angles and biases to view a war or the parties engaged in it. For instance, one of the parties to war could be their ancestral country that occupies a special place in their heart. Reporters might also have a soft corner for one country more than other because of their experience or because of what they have read or been told by seniors and friends. Philosophically, they could innately be pro-war or anti-war. An anti-war reporter would begin by blaming the party that has started the war, even though there might have been sufficient underlying provocation from the other party. Confronted with the duty of war reporting, reporters’ first instinct would be to apply their ingrained bias based on their links, acquired wisdom and conviction and assign the blame on the perceived bad guy. Even the most dedicated and honest journalist cannot be free from these elements of bias in war reporting. Rational decisions of individual war reporters and other media players collectively put out lies, half-truths and disinformation that encourages war and discourages conflict resolution (Russ-Mohl). This explains why different reporters come up with different narratives for the same event. Such differences might also occur due to the motto, mission and orientation of media organization ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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