Biasness is a curse and it can turn into a menace if reflected thoroughly by the mainstream media. Any form of biasness in the course of informing the general public should be considered as a means of rendering negative impact. It is noteworthy that a news report, especially as a form of mainstream media, should inform the readers or the audience about something that actually happened. On the appropriateness of information depends the quality of a news report. A complete picture of the event must be presented by a quality news report. But whenever a news report is incomplete and it projects only one side of the story, it should be considered a biased one. One such example of biased news report may be found in one of the reports published by The New York Times. In the news article, “Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year,” Gillis has proved that biasness can actually turn a news report into an ineffective and inappropriate one.
Readers often expect that whenever they are reading something related to science and environment, they are actually reading the interpretation and explanation of actual facts and figures either in the form of statistics or other mathematical calculations. The same expectation has been triggered by the concerned article, but the readers have not been appeased in this respect. And this is primarily because; the entire news article is infested with biasness of the author and the publishing authority. In the article, “Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year,” Gillis has claimed that, “Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014.” Though such claim might seem a weighty one, the author has actually embodied through the claim only the essence of biasness. Such a claim has not actually been proved scientifically in the article, turning the article into a biased one. Biasness may be defined as “The state of being biased; inclination to a particular side; partiality” (“Biasness”). In the context of media, biasness may indicate unjustified favouritism to any issue or information (Lavasseur). This has been the case with the concerned news article. It is noteworthy that sheer favouritism and void of logic, both are evident in the claims made by Gillis in the article, and hence, the newspaper article should be considered a biased one. Gillis has proclaimed that, for the third year in a row, 2016 was the hottest year, and though readers may expect that such a claim would be supported by facts and figures; actually it has not been so. There have been no numbers, measurements, or statistical measures either supporting or interpreting the claim that Gillis has made in the article. It must be noted that Gillis has committed two specific forms of bias while writing the news article, viz. bias by omission and bias by selection of sources (“Media Bias”). Bias by omission can occur “either within a story, or over the long term as a particular news outlet reports one set of events, but not another” (“Media Bias”). Bias by selection of sources refer to the practice of including or referring to only those sources that support one particular point of view of the reporter (“Media Bias”). Committing the biasness by omission, Gillis has failed to provide the readers with any comparative information regarding the temperature rise. The readers are not told what the average global temperature was or what had been the degree of increase in temperature. Denoting the presence of biasness by omission, Gillis has also not provided any statistical figure seeing which the readers may actually determine if 2016 was really one of the hottest years in a straight row.
Moreover, hinting on the presence of biasness by selection of topic, Gillis, in the news article, has actually referred to some specific authorities, leaving out the views of others who might have been in opposition of the proposed fact. Quite interestingly, in the article, in order to strengthen the claim, Gillis has only mentioned those authorities and sources that have confirmed that 2016 had been among the hottest years. But nowhere in the article has the reporter specifically mentioned sources that have either opposed or challenged the claim. This is an indicator to the fact that Gillis has been biased in his approach towards the environmental issue, and his biasness has been reflected throughout his news article.
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"Media Bias". Student News Daily. N.p., 2017. Web. 5 Feb. 2017.