This paper will discuss the issue of illegal immigration into the U.S. This current issues tend to affect our daily lives and need to be taken into deep considerations. The issue of immigration has both economic implications and societal implications. Various media houses propagate different views towards the issue of immigration, information that tends to shape the public perspective and views. Members of the public should therefore be able to ascertain accurate information to that which is not accurate. There are various types of media biasness and among them we have omission bias, bias by placement, bias by spin among many others. It is important to note that the degree of biasness varies from one media house to another thus the level of biasness should be limited. Media biasness tend to be shaped by the liberal and conservative’s views. Liberals tend to believe that the government has the solution to their problems while conservatives believe that the solution towards one problems strictly lies upon them. This paper will discuss the various biases that are portrayed by various media houses.
One of the common forms of media biasness is bias by omission. Bias by omission refers to when media houses ignore viable data concerning a topic under discussion. The media house may fail or ignore some important facts that relate to a topic. Facts that would otherwise affect public opinion on the matter being discussed. This is evident in various media houses in the globe especially when tackling the issue of immigration. News media that are liberal tend to support the view that even illegal immigrants in the U.S have to be protected while conservative media houses support the view that only legal immigrants into the US should be protected thus the American government should put in measures that help to curb the problem of illegal immigration like having them deported. CNBC media house hold the conservative view on matters pertaining to immigration while the Washington post is on the liberal side. One of the CNBC omission biasness is seen when they narrowed down trumps speech where they reported that “I think immigration has been bad for Europe.” (CNBC, 13 July 2018). By focusing on such words on president Trumps speech the media house spread the view that immigrants are a menace to the economy of Europe. By omitting some important aspects of the speech the media house helped to show a one sided truth even though immigrants have played a critical role in the economy of US.
The Washington post on the other hand propagate liberal ideology on matters concerning immigration. In one of the headlines the Washington post reported that “Trumps administration draws fire for “misleading” report linking terrorism, immigration (Ellen Nakashima, September 13, 2018). Such ideological views coincide with those held by the liberals that even illegal immigrants have constitutional rights that they should enjoy. The Washington also in support of the liberal view purported that “the Trump administration wants to blame the immigration system for things that happened 15 to 20 years after people flowed through the system…” (Ellen Nakashima, September 2018) By holding such views, the media house fails to take into consideration the conservative view that illegal immigrants should be lawfully persecuted since they are a threat to national security.
There is also bias by placement that is seen in media houses today. Bias by placement refers to how news room or editors put emphasis on specific issues. This can be achieved by looking at how the news room or reporters place their headlines, if their headlines always support liberal or conservative views. Media houses should always play an impartial role since it helps to ensure that the news presented is free from bias. The CNBC media house placed various headlines that supported the conservative view on matters concerning immigration. The CNBC had headlines like “Trump threatens U.S. government shutdown over immigration” (Doina Chiacu, CNBC, July 2018). “Trump threatens government shutdown if Democrats don’t back immigration reform” (Javier E, CNBC, July 2018). “Trump: I think immigration has been bad for Europe” (CNBC, July 2018). “Washington is incapable of a rational solution to immigration says expert” (CNBC, June 2018)
On the other hand, the Washington post held the spread the liberal view that stats that even illegal immigrants have some rights and should be protected by the government in many of their posts they showed bias by placement by placing posts with headlines that supported the liberal view. The Washington post headlines read that “Trump administration draws fire for ‘misleading’ report linking terrorism, immigration” (The Washington Post, September 2018). “Repeating anti-immigrant screeds doesn’t make them true” (The Washington Post, September 2018). “Iraqi man seeks release after long immigration detainment” (The Washington Post, September 2018). “Immigrant families struggling with trauma of separation” (The Washington Post, September 2018). “Immigrants in US program spend 25 days longer in detention” (The Washington Post, September 2018). Headlines play a very crucial role in the news reporting arena. Headlines tend to give an overview of what readers or members of the public should concentrate on. The above media houses are biased since they tend to support various ideologies. They portray placement biasness where their headlines rotate around the conservative or liberal view. Both the media houses show placement biasness where their headlines or bulletin frequently portray the two views that are strongly held by members of the public.
The other form of bias is bias by selection of sources. Bias by selection of sources occurs when a media houses use more sources that support one view or side as opposed to the other. Through bias by selection of sources media houses make members of the public to have substantial evidence that is one sided. Phrases like ‘experts’, ‘most people hold the view’ or ‘observers say’ are commonly used in this type of media bias. It may also occur when they include more sources that support liberal view as opposed to conservative view and vice vasa.
A good example of bias by selection of sources is seen in CNBC media house on how they are handling the immigration news. In one of their headlines that read ‘U.S. CEOs warns of harm from Trump administration’s immigration policy’ the media house reported that in august 23rd “a group of chief executive officers at the largest U.S. companies expressed serious concerns…” (CNBC, August 2018). Bias by selection here is seen by observing how the media house places some authority on the U.S. companies, the media house states that the company is one of the “largest” companies in U.S. and it has “a group of chief executive officers”. Such authorities tend to give authority to the sources they are using in which by doing so the public perception is shaped towards a specific direction, the conservative view. With such anecdotes the public cannot have faith in their government, that the government can liberate them from the oppressions brought to them by the issues of illegal immigration.
In the other hand the Washington post reported in their articles entitled ‘immigrant families struggling with trauma of separation includes far more sources that support the liberal ideology that immigrants should be protected by the government and that they also have a right to access fair treatment and protection. The Washington post quotes that ‘a 6-year-old immigrant boy sobs at the school bus stop in suburban and begs his mother to promise she will not disappear again.’ Another comment is that “a toddler in Honduras wakes up screaming and searches for the government social worker who cared for him for several months” (Julie. W, Morgan. L. September 2018). It is such heart felt anecdotes that tend to shape the publics opinion towards what the illegal immigrants deserve to what they don’t deserve. Such anecdotes by the Washington post propagate the liberal dogma at the expense of the conservative view
Both the liberal and conservative views are supported by many people in U.S. from the above points it is true to say that what the media presents tend to affect greatly the political the U.S and many other countries. Since many people are at the mercies of the media, where they rely solely on the media for information and are unable to distinguish between bias and unbiased information, it is important therefore to examine how the different ideologies propagated by the media tend to shape the public opinion. The liberal view that is mostly propagated by the Washington post as indicated above draws more and more people into believing that immigrants both legal and illegal ones have rights and need to be protected by the U.S government. This view has both long term and short term consequences. Among the short term consequences that would be realized is that a lot of tax payer’s money will have to be channels towards protecting the immigrants. There would be increased threats of the national security since some of the illegal immigrants that liberals want the government to protect may be outlaws in their countries. The long term effect of holding the liberal view is that there would be increased population. This would be realized over time.
The conservative view on the other hand is widely spread by CNBC media house on matters concerning immigration. The media house spread the view that immigration is a problem that should be handled with utmost authority. Illegal immigrants should be well dealt with and the government should regulate number immigrants entering in the U.S. There are various implications of the conservative view some with long term while others with short term consequences. One of the consequences of spreading the conservative view on matters relating to immigration is that it may result to enmity between the locals and the immigrants where they are seen as fugitives. Another effect of conservative view is that it makes it hard for immigrants to secure jobs and denies them some benefits since they are living in asylum.
Polarization refers to how certain views tend to affect ones stand towards a matter. When media houses are identified with certain views, conservative and liberal, the news they relay also tends to take the same course. In most cases they relay information that tends to support the views that they support or hold dear. Polarization is becoming more common in today’s era where news rooms are becoming more and more associated with specific political affiliations or view. Due to polarization media houses instead of taking a neutral stand they have become supporters or agents of various views in this case liberal or conservative view. In today’s world you’re either a liberal or a conservative, you’re either with us or against us, it is more and more harder to take a neutral stand on matters involving politics and the public. News rooms value greatly the public opinion and this has further made them to be more polarized.
Ellen Nakashima. The Washington Post. September 13, 2018
Doina Chiacu. Consumer News and Business Chanel. July 2018.
Julie. W; Morgan. L. The Washington Post. September 2018