Media Bias

Skylar Locke, Allison Burk, Ryan Doyle, and Cody Zimmer

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Hi All! In class on Friday, we will be discussing media bias.

For your homework, you will need to find a media source (an article, an Instagram caption, a Twitter post, a video clip from a news company, etc.) that you find to be racist, sexist or bias in any other way. After you have found your biased source, you will rewrite the part of the source that is biased and ultimately, makes the source no longer biased. Please provide the original source that you chose as well as your revisions. Then, write a couple of sentences about the changes you made and your opinions regarding this topic in general. You can post your homework as a blog post rather than a comment.

Below is an example of a media rewrite. The original words from a racist article is in bold while the rewrite is in regular font:

Young Manchester City footballer, 20, on £25,000 a week splashes out on mansion on market for £2.25million despite having never started a Premier League match.

Young Manchester city footballer, 20, impressively making £25,000 a week decides to purchase £2.25million estate in the beginning of his young career.

The 20-year-old has never featured in the English Premier League, but now owns a mansion with an asking price of £2.25million

The 20-year-old prospect has yet to make his mark on the premiere league for his club. But he has started in cup games and was a starting defender in Manchester City’s Champions league game. Is now the proud owner of £2.25million mansion.

Please do your best to have this assignment done by Thursday night or no later than 8am on Friday. Happy rewriting!

12 Replies to “Media Bias”

  1. Hi Skylar, Allison, Ryan, and Cody
    This is a very interesting topic for me because I feel like we see biases on a daily basis, especially in social media. A Few months ago somehow this person’s tweet appeared on my twitter timeline. After I read it I got mad because of what this person was saying. When thinking of this topic this tweet came to my mind.

    The screenshot of what the person said is in the screenshot below!

    To change this to be not biased at all I would say ” I am a huge supporter of women going to college. College lets them study knowledge they are passionate about, and prepares them to go into a career they love. It also goes against the stereotype of women just being wives and mothers which is an outdated idea.”

    In order to make the bellow statement not biased, I had to basically change the whole statement. I found the bellow statement to be extremely outdated which made it harder. I felt like I had to put a more positive spin on it and to make it more like something that I would want to read if I were to somehow see it. The changes I made showed more support towards women.

  2. Hi Skylar, Allison, Ryan, and Cody
    This is a very interesting topic because we see this on a regular basis due to social media being so accessible.When I was in high school, there was a basketball game against Mount Vernon. I did not attend the basketball game, but I do know that it got chaotic due to the loss of the opposing school. In result, the older students who were at the game were using their race against them. Many students tweeted inappropriate and hurtful things after the game. There are several tweets still listed online from this basketball game and due to how students acted the coach from our high school retired.

    To change this tweet to not be biased I would say, “I can’t wait to read about the future success of the MV Knights. They played phenomenal tonight” I felt as though I had to change the statement and make it more positive by making it short and simple. I had to get rid of the “One day, they might be able to read too.” because that is a complete bias and just replacing it with a compliment rather than a degrading comment.

    Tweet: “Can’t wait to read about the future success of the MV Knights in the state championship. One day, they might be able to read too.”


  3. Hi Skylar, Allison, Ryan, and Cody,
    I’m really interested in learning about bias in the media and I feel like this topic is extremely important. I selected a tweet from a mobile app that is being used on a daily basis. Social media apps work as news platforms in a way so it is crucial for us and other people to identify the biases we are seeing every single day.
    I was scrolling through twitter actively looking for any tweets I saw to be racist. I decided to type in #Trump2020 and #immigrants to see what would pop up.

    The changes I would make to this tweet are :

    The left and even the right SHOULD be focusing on the impeachment of Trump. Trump builds off of and continues the false stereotype and narratives of illegal immigrants. Many illegal immigrants are seeking asylum and are coming to America with hopes of living and leading better and safer lives not just for themselves but also for their children and families. The jobs immigrants work are the jobs Americans do not work/want to work. Remember illegal immigrants are undocumented so they do have the leverage to steal jobs from an American citizen. Illegal immigrants are exploited and work in horrible conditions. They work hours on end and receive very little money for the exhaustive labor they endure. Unlike Americans, Illegal immigrants have a constant threat and fear of deportation being held over their heads by many of their employers. There is a painted tale created by the media that depicts illegal immigrants as people who come to America to commit a string of crimes or that they take the innocent lives of Americans. Native-born Americans commit more crimes than illegal immigrants in terms of homicide, sex crimes, and even larceny. Donald Trump constantly tweeting and publicly broadcasting how horrible illegal immigrants further continue this racist and oppressive cycle. #TrumpNOTfor2020

    – I really enjoyed this, lol. Thank you!!

  4. Hi guys!
    I actually did basically this assignment in my Education class a few weeks ago. I decided to pick an article titled, “All American swimmer found guilty of sexually assaulting unconscious woman on Stanford campus”. The article talked a lot about Brock Turner’s swimming career, which is extremely frustrating, scary, and disheartening to read. Instead of completely focusing on how Turner was in the wrong, the article focused on how Turner’s swimming career was cut short. Because of how unbelievable I thought this was, I decided to change the title to, “Standford student found guilty of sexually assaulting unconscious woman on campus”. Short, sweet, and to the point – showing how Turner was in the wrong. Great homework assignment guys!


  5. Hi Cody, Ryan, Skylar, and Allison,

    Thanks for this great activity to kick off our conversation on media biases!

    I’m borrowing my example from this recent article in The Swaddle (

    Some background: On October 15, Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee were awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. These two recipients also happen to be married.

    How was their win reported in the media? See the attached image as well as the following headlines:

    – “Indian-origin Abhijit Banerjee, wife Esther Duflo awarded Nobel Prize in Economics” — Hindustan Times
    – “Indian-American MIT Prof Abhijit Banerjee and wife wins Nobel in Economics” — The Economic Times
    – “Indian-American Abhijit Banerjee, wife Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer win 2019 Nobel Economics Prize” — FirstPost
    – “Indian-American MIT Prof Abhijit Banerjee and wife Esther Duflo win Noble prize in Economics” — Business Insider

    As Bustle points out, the implication of these headlines is that Duflo received this prize for choosing a brilliant MIT professor as a husband. Great choice, Duflo! *facepalm*

    Other possible headlines:
    – Esther Duflo, one of the greatest economists in the world, was recently awarded the Nobel Prize
    – Director of MIT’s Poverty Action Lab, Esther Duflo, Awarded Nobel Prize in Economics
    – Esther Duflo, one of the leading minds in economics, and husband Abhijit Banerjee win the Nobel Prize (I kid, of course, as this diminishes Banerjee’s achievement as well)
    – Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee win Nobel Prize in Economics

    As we move into tomorrow’s discussion, two things to keep in mind.

    First, it seems important to distinguish between news media bias and social media bias. News media (major companies like The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, etc.) are reputable news organizations whose business is to report facts about what is going on in the world. They present themselves as factual and reputable sources of information, with giant teams of fact-checkers and editors reviewing every story that gets published. When they use racist, sexist, and homophobic language, it has drastic and pernicious implications. This is not the same as when a regular, everyday person posts something racist, sexist, or homophobic on their personal social media accounts. While both are, of course, horrible, it seems important not to collapse the distinctions between multi-billion dollar news organizations and individual users.

    Second, I’m so glad that we’re returning to the question of bias! When we read Donna Haraway’s article on “situated knowledges,” we discussed Haraway’s argument that there is no such thing as a “neutral” or “unbiased,” perspective; rather, every seeming “fact” reflects the perspective and standpoint of the person creating it, including how they are positioned/situated in the intersecting axes of power. At the time, the class seemed (somewhat?) convinced by this argument, and yet the past few weeks you have been working to edit Wikipedia articles, attempting to adhere to their pillar of “neutral point of view”: “representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic.” It would be great if we could discuss this tension tomorrow and take a temperature check to see where the class is at. Do we still believe Haraway that every statement reflects the biases of the person who created it, to the point where it no longer makes sense to speak in terms of neutral vs. biased (thinking, instead, in terms of “situated knowledges”)? Or, has the editing of Wikipedia convinced us that there is some kind of neutral, unbiased, omniscient, objective perspective on issues worth striving for?

    Which is all a long-winded way of saying, looking forward to tomorrow’s discussion!

  6. Hi Skylar, Allison, Ryan, and Cody,
    This is a great topic that you guys have come together to discuss. There are so many biases on social media and many of these have started feuds that have shown up on the news. I think it’s important to hear both sides out, but at the same time acknowledge and support the rightful victim or people that are being targeted.
    In the image provided, I took a screenshot of what Tomi Lahren had tweeted on 2012 about schools in the United States, “Does anybody at this school speak English? #thisisamerica”
    My initial response to that was filled with rage and the fact that this woman is so completely ignorant and racist. Her white privilege is showing and she continues to feul the country with so much discrimination and hatred towards people who “are different from her.”
    To change the statement, “It’s great to see the diversity of languages within a school environment, where students can feel comfortable speaking their native language.” This would have been a better statement supporting children who struggle to learn a new language (being English). But of course she had to be a spiteful hateful human being that has zero respect for others who are different from her.

  7. Hi Allison, Skylar, Ryan, and Cody! I really liked the premise for this blog post. In terms of the internet and social media, there is racism, sexism, homophobia, and all kinds of problematic behavior everywhere we look. It was unfortunately not too hard to find something to use for this assignment. I took to Twitter, and spent a few minutes speculating about what kind of tweet I wanted to use. I eventually decided to look up Kaitlin Bennett, known gun and NRA advocate. Based on her past behaviors online, I knew I could find something worth using.
    Because of how ignorantly Bennett set up this tweet, it was clear that she was only trying to get a reaction out of people, but it should still justifiably be changed. Instead of her statement, I believe it should be, “Thinking of all Indigenous Peoples today as we celebrate their heritage and culture. Especially today, we should be mindful of the harm and suffering Christopher Columbus caused when he destroyed the livelihood of these indigenous peoples in the name of ‘civilization’.”

  8. Hi everyone, I really like this idea for the assignment, I think it is very creative!I found two tiktoks for my social media aspect,

    These are both about the way that girl is portrayed on Halloween. It’s very sexist, and a terrible stereotype that has been perpetuated. You’re either a ‘slut’ for Halloween or you’re the weird quirky girl that dressed in a ‘funny’ outfit. Either way, you’re looked down on, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    I think to rewrite this we must rewrite the societal norm. To say that girls can dress however they feel comfortable on Halloween rather than always making a spectacle of it.

  9. Allison, Skylar, Ryan, and Cody,
    This post made me think of a lot of inappropriate comments celebrities get caught saying/posting earlier in their career and then resurface once they become very popular. Below I attached a tweet Kevin Hart made that was beyond disturbing. His tweet stated “Yo if my son comes home & try’s 2 play with my daughters doll house I’m going 2 break it over his head & say n my voice ‘stop that’s gay.’ I am not sure what kind of laughs he was trying to get out of that statement, considering he said he would not only not accept his son if he was gay but also hurt him physically. On top of that the comment is emphasizing gender roles, like girls can only play with dolls and boys have to play with trucks. I think as a whole this comment is awful but to re write it I would say “If my son came home one day and decided to tell our family he was gay I could never imagine not being accepting.” I think my post is a very small example compared to how many biased things are in the media, which is unfortunate that there are that many issues.

  10. Hey Skylar, Allison, Ryan, and Cody,
    Your assignment surrounding rewriting media bias is a wonderful “hands-on” assignment because it is forcing us, students, to rethink the format of media that has been shared. The first thing I thought of to analyze and reform are advertisements. Advertisements swallow society and are a form of media that is sent out every day. Advertisements are brainwashing to its consumer because it displays the same idea multiple times a day, through different forms, found in multiple spots. I chose the company Victoria Secret to analyze and fix their racist advertisement by directing this image from a different route. This ad is supposed to target women of all body types so they could buy the lingerie/ undergarments made for women. The issue with this is the hypersexualized nature of this ad that only focuses on the women’s “perfect” body that is only displayed as one body type, and a majority light skin and/or white women. An easy fix to this ad would be to feature beautiful women from many ethnic backgrounds and to showcase the array of different body types. This advertisement is extremely misleading to the public and all genders, giving the wrong message to the public about physical expectations and hyper sexuality. I have worked for this company personally and they continue this toxic cycle through their company policies and views, also their sales direction.

  11. Hey guys!
    I really liked the way you approached this topic and encouraging the class to find a bias that exists in our everyday digital use. I also really liked how our assignment revolved around each of us individually putting our own sense into a bias example found in social media. This puts our minds to work by encouraging us to turn a bias statement around, and creating a non-bias version of it.

    As we all know, Trump makes very blunt and bias tweets on a regular basis and doesn’t seem to care what anyone thinks of them. Down below, he tweets that people of color who are members of congress are “from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe” and then stating that they should “go back” to those countries and say there. His tweet clearly shows an example of racist figurative language that is used against immigrants and minority groups who show criticism toward different US policies.

    I wouldn’t even know where to start with editing this tweet because everything about it is just wrong and judgmental. I would restate it, saying:
    “Although these Democrat Congresswomen come from places who might not have the strongest governments, it doesn’t matter now. It doesn’t matter because they are trying their hardest to be progressive within our U.S. government system by putting in effort, as well as incorporating different opinions and ideas that could help improve our U.S. policies, which are currently under a reconstruction period to make room for improvement.”

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