political bias

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1. In contexts where impartiality, balance, and/or objectivity are normative (in particular in public service broadcast news reporting and political interviews), a perceived tendency to favour or disfavour a particular political party, candidate, or policy reflected in selection and/or presentation. Such ideological biases are variously attributed to such factors as government influence, media ownership, or journalistic affiliations; they may or may not be regarded as involving deliberate manipulation. The standards are variable: public service broadcasting is generally expected to aspire to higher standards of political impartiality and balance than are privately-owned channels or newspapers. Marxists theorists see the mass media as propagating the dominant ideology. Others argue that most mainstream Western journalism tends to limit discourse to a relatively narrow range of ‘liberal’ views. See alsoGlasgow media group; manufacture of consent.

2. The argument that media of communication differ in the political developments that they facilitate because of their relative accessibility and speed: one of the features which Neil Postman sees as contributing to the ideological bias of a medium. These factors were also noted by Cooley in 1909. See alsoaccess; communication technologies; distance communication.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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