Is fairness in journalism dead?


There is bias in all sort of media. Graphic courtesy of Shutterstock.

Jay Gupta, Staff Writer

No matter where one looks, they are bound to come across a biased media platform.  This bias extends past politics, but into the realm of personal insults.

   For example, on the news network MSNBC, Arsalan Iftikhar of talked with Alex Wagner of MSNBC, and commenting on Indo-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Iftikhar said, “I think Governor Jindal is protesting a bit too much. He might be trying to scrub some of the brown off his skin as he runs to the right in a presidential bid.”

   This bias does not only extend to sources left of center, as Bill O’Reilly, formerly part of the Fox News network, while commenting on Maxine Waters jeered, “I didn’t hear a word that she said.  I was looking at the James Brown wig.”

   So, now the question, was the media always so biased? In the beginning, around 1949, there was a fairness doctrine, which ensured that radio talk shows always presented information in a completely fair and unbiased manner, dedicating equal time to both sides of the political spectrum.  During President Reagan’s administration, however, the doctrine was repealed.  Shortly thereafter, there was a surge in in conservative media, particularly in talk shows, such as the Rush Limbaugh show, and the Glenn Beck show.  The rise in conservatism in the mainstream media encouraged Rupert Murdoch, an Australian journalist, to launch Fox News, an alternative to the traditionally liberal mainstream cable media.

   Soon, The O’Reilly Factor, headed by the polarizing Bill O’Reilly, became one of the most watched shows on cable news, aiding the unprecedented rise of the Fox Network.  Quickly, other cable networks, such as MSNBC, CNN, and CBS caught on to the talk show host method, abandoning their often boring, and non-polarizing methods of presenting media.

   Once the mass polarization model helped networks earn more and more viewers, the model spread to other forms of media, such as the print media.  All in all, because of the success of polarizing talk show hosts in the media, and the repealing of the Fairness doctrine, media has lost the fair and unbiased presentation of information.