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A biased world view

What countries many Americans care about. (Credits goes to geocaching.com)

One thing that most people can agree on is that everyone has a bias. This bias differs from person to person and can affect them significantly by influencing their writing or actions. This inadvertently means that the media is biased.

What do I mean by bias? In my humble opinion, bias is spooning out news that everyone wants to hear and not news people should hear.

For example, very recently in the Ukraine Crisis, the Ukrainian government has made some unsubstantiated claims that the Russian Army had invaded the Ukraine. However, the only evidence for this was rather spotty claims from the Ukrainian government.

Unfortunately in the world of news most media outlets do not follow the standard practice of innocent unless proven guilty. There is no evidence for the claim that the Russians Separatists are truly being supported by the Russian Army with the knowledge of the Russian government. However, because news outlets tend to post whatever story they can to get the money people are in fact reading on the news that Ukraine is being invaded by Russia which further perpetuates the opinion (or myth) that Putin is a bloodthirsty warmonger that wants to start World War III.

Another example of Media bias is the rather lackluster approach to the Boko Haram Chibok School kidnappings. Following Boko Haram’s initial attacks, the world rallied behind the hashtag #SaveOurGirls and even achieved the support of the First Lady.  However despite optimism and even the arrival of U.S. “advisors” the events in Nigeria has settled into a status quo. The girls still remain captives and they still continue to be sold into perpetual slavery as “wives” of Muslims and forced to convert to Islam.  In fact, the English internet seems to have completely forgotten about the girls and the news outlets are no less the same.

Unfortunately when people think about world news they always think about world news that is related to them. Which is why when people read news (and especially nowadays where it is possible to be completely selective in what you desire to read), they can read whatever they want. This while may seem like a boon often actually backfires.

For example when most people think about world news they think about Israel, Ukraine, Ebola, or maybe the Malaysian airplane crash. All of these things are influenced by bias. Ebola continues to be used as a justification for the destruction of the human race in multiple fictional settings and Israel continues to pop up in political debates. It is rather simple to realize that there are two things that people have in mind when they read the news: their country’s politics and the fear of death.

Because of our own skewed bias whenever we look at the news we always look for America’s role in those events. This is partially why we supported the girls in Nigeria because it boasted First Lady Support and had the backing of the media because of that. However, after it began to seem that nothing would change even if there was American military support we began to lose interest. We love success stories and our own attentions quickly changed to what we consider more important.

For example what do you think about when you think about West Africa? I have no doubt that you are thinking about the Ebola Outbreak. When if the protection for the newest strain of Ebola is off there is no need to panic. However people on the internet are panicking because Ebola patients are being brought to the U.S. and they fear for their own lives. In the end people care more for things that could threaten their lives (however unlikely) than actual important news.

For instance, do you know about the Hiroshima landslides? Or the capture of a Nigerian town by Boko Haram? Or the horrible atrocities committed to the Qatari foreigners who come to build the nice luxurious stadiums come next World Cup? Perhaps it is time to take off the glasses of bias and to look at the world with a new universal perspective.

 

About Thomas Jung

Thomas Jung is a member of the MC SUN. He is well-known for being awesomely Asian. Thomas’s favorite food is rice. He enjoys writing and doing various other activities. He also enjoys eating watermelon while watching anime. Thomas is objectively one of the greatest writers of all time next to Thomas Jefferson and Robert Jordan. Be sure to say hi if you ever see him!

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