Journalism is tied to a set of honest standards and values, including truth and accuracy, fairness and also impartiality, and also accountability. However, journalism today frequently strays from target fact; the an outcome is biased news. Prejudice isn"t necessarily a negative thing, however hidden media bias misleads, manipulates and divides us. This is why gimpppa.org offers hundreds of media predisposition ratings and a media bias chart.

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72 percent the Americans think traditional news sources report fake news, falsehoods, or content that is intentionally misleading. Through trust in media declining, media consumers must learn how to spot varieties of media bias.

This web page outlines 11 types of media bias, together with examples the their usage in popular media outlets. Download this web page as a PDF, and also don"t forget to check out the 14 species of ideological bias.


11 types of Media Bias

and how to spot them

1. Spin2. Unsubstantiated Claims3. Opinion statements Presented as Facts4. Sensationalism/Emotionalism5. Mudslinging/Ad Hominem6. Mind Reading7. Slant8. Fault Logic9. Bias by Omission10. Omission of resource Attribution11. Bias by PlacementSome final Notes ~ above Bias1. Spin

Spin is a form of media bias that way vague, dramatic or sensational language. When journalists put a “spin” ~ above a story, they stray indigenous objective, measurable facts. Spin is a kind of media predisposition that clouds a reader’s view, preventing them from obtaining a specific take top top what happened.

In the at an early stage 20th century, publicly Relations and also Advertising executives were described as “spin doctors.” castle would usage vague language and make unsupportable insurance claims in order to promote a product, business or idea, downplaying any alternate views in order to make a sale. Increasingly, these techniques are appearing in journalism.

Examples of rotate Words and also Phrases:
EmergeSeriousRefuseCrucialHigh-stakesTiradeLandmark
Latest in a string of...MajorTurn increase the heatCriticalDecryingOffendStern talks
OffensiveFacing phone call to...MeaningfulEven thoughMonumentalSignificant

Sometimes the media offers spin words and also phrase to imply negative behavior. This words are regularly used without giving hard facts, straight quotes, or experienced behavior:


FinallySurfacedAcknowledgedEmerged
Refusing come sayConcededDodged
AdmissionCame come lightAdmit to

To line emotions, reports often encompass colored, dramatic, or sensational words together a substitute for the word “said.” for example:


MockedRagedBraggedFumed
Lashed outIncensedScoffedFrustration
EruptedRantBoastedGloated
Examples of turn Media Bias:

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“Gloat” means “contemplate or dwell top top one"s very own success or another"s misfortune v smugness or malignant pleasure.” Is there proof in Trump’s tweet to present he is gift smug or acquisition pleasure in the layoffs, or is this a spatu interpretation?

Source article

Business Insider predisposition Rating

In this example of spin media bias, the Washington short article uses a selection of dramatic, sensationalist words come spin the story to do Trump appear emotional and unhinged. They additionally refer to the president"s "vanity" without providing supporting evidence.

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Washington post Bias Rating

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2. Unsubstantiated Claims

Journalists occasionally make cases in their reporting without including evidence to ago them up. This can occur in the headline of one article, or in the body.

Statements that appear to it is in fact, yet do no include details evidence, room a vital indication of this form of media bias.

Sometimes, website or media outlets publish stories that are completely made up. This is regularly referred to as a kind of fake news.

Examples that Unsubstantiated insurance claims Media Bias

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In this media prejudice instance, The day-to-day Wire referrals a "longstanding pattern," yet does not earlier this up through evidence.

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The daily Wire predisposition Rating

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In so late January 2019, gibbs Jussie Smollett asserted he was attacked by two men who hurled racial and homophobic slurs. The Hill refers to “the violent attack” without using words “alleged” or “allegations." The event was revealed to be a hoax developed by Smollett himself.

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The Hill prejudice Rating

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This Washington post columnist provides a claim about wealth circulation without noting whereby it come from. Who established this number and also how?

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Washington article Bias RatingTop the Page

3. Opinion declaration Presented as Fact

Sometimes journalists use subjective language or statements under the guise of report objectively. Even when a media outlet gift an write-up as a factual and objective news piece, it may employ subjective statements or language.

A subjective statement is one the is based upon personal opinions, assumptions, beliefs, tastes, preferences, or interpretations. it reflects exactly how the writer views reality, what lock presuppose to be the truth. It is a statement colored by their certain perspective or lens and cannot be showed using concrete facts and figures in ~ the article.

There are objective amendment — “blue” “old” “single-handedly” “statistically” “domestic” — because that which the meaning can be verified. Top top the other hand, there are subjective amendment — “suspicious,” “dangerous,” “extreme,” “dismissively,” “apparently” — which are a issue of interpretation.

Interpretation can existing the same events as two really different incidents. For instance, a political protest in which world sat under in the center of a street blocking web traffic to draw attention come their cause can be described as “peaceful” and “productive,” or, rather may explain it together “aggressive” and “disruptive.”

Words that signal spatu statements include:


Source: Butte College critical Thinking Tipsheet

An objective statement, on the various other hand, is an observation of observable facts. The is not based upon emotions or personal opinion and also is based upon empirical evidence — what is quantifiable and measurable.

It’s important to keep in mind that an objective statement might not actually be true. The following statements are objective statements, yet can be proved as true or false:

Taipei 101 is the world"s tallest building.

Five plus four equals ten.

There are nine planets in our solar system.

Now, the very first statement of reality is true (as the this writing); the various other two room false. That is possible to verify the elevation of buildings and also determine that Taipei 101 top them all. It is feasible to devise an experiment to show that 5 plus four does no equal ten or to use created criteria to recognize whether Pluto is a planet.

Source: Butte College crucial Thinking Tipsheet

Editorial evaluate by gimpppa.org uncovered that part media outlets blur the line in between subjective statements and objective statements, leading to potential confusion for readers, in two vital ways that loss under this form of media bias:Placing opinion or editorial contents on the homepage next to difficult news, or otherwise not clearly marking opinion content as “opinion.”

Examples of Opinion statements Presented as Fact

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The sub-headline Vox offers is an opinion statement — some civilization likely believe the lifting that the gas limit will certainly strengthen the coal industry — however Vox included this statement in a item not labeling “Opinion.”

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Vox bias Rating

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In this article around Hillary Clinton’s figure on "The Late display With Stephen Colbert," the author makes an assumption about Clinton’s motives and also jumps to a subjective conclusion.

Source article

Fox News prejudice Rating

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4. Sensationalism/Emotionalism

Sensationalism is a type of media prejudice in which details is gift in a way that provides a shock or makes a deep impression. Frequently it offers readers a false sense of culmination, that all ahead reporting has led to this ultimate story.

Sensationalist language is often dramatic, yet vague. That often involves hyperbole — in ~ the price of accuracy — or warping reality to mislead or provoke a strong reaction in the reader.

In current years, some media outlets have been criticized because that overusing the term “breaking” or “breaking news,” i m sorry historically was scheduled for stories of deep influence or wide-scale importance.

With this kind of media bias, reporters often increase the readability of your pieces using vivid verbs. Yet there are plenty of verbs the are heavy with ramifications that can’t be objectively corroborated: “blast” “slam” “bury” “abuse” “destroy” “worry.”

Words and also phrases offered by the media that signal sensationalism/emotionalism include:


Examples of Sensationalism/Emotionalism Media Bias

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“Gawk” method to rigid or gape stupidly. Walk AP’s language treat this event as serious and also diplomatic, or as entertainment?Source article

AP prejudice Rating

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Here, BBC supplies sensationalism in the kind of hyperbole, as the choice is i can not qualify to involve bloodshed in the literal meaning sense.

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BBC predisposition Rating

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In this item from the new York Post, the author uses multiple sensationalist phrases and also emotional language to dramatize the “Twitter battle."

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New York post Bias Rating

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5. Mudslinging/Ad Hominem

Mudslinging is a form of media predisposition when unfair or violation things room said around someone in bespeak to damages their reputation. Similarly, ad hominem (Latin for “to the person”) attacks are strikes on a person’s motive or character traits rather of the contents of their argument or idea. Ad hominem strikes can be offered overtly, or together a method to subtly discredit someone without having actually to engage with their argument.

Examples the Mudslinging

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A reason editor calls a new York times columnist a "snowflake" after the columnist emailed a professor and his provost come complain around a tweet calling the a bedbug.

Source article

Reason bias Rating

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In march 2019, The Economist ran a item describing politics commentator and also author Ben Shapiro as “alt-right.” Readers pointed out that Shapiro is Jewish (the alt-right is greatly anti-Semitic) and has condemned the alt-right. The Economist approve a retraction and instead referred to Shapiro as a “radical conservative.”

Source: The Economist Twitter

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6. Mental Reading

Mind reading is a form of media prejudice that wake up in journalism as soon as a writer suspect they understand what an additional person thinks, or thinks the the way they see the world reflects the way the human being really is.

Examples of mental Reading

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We can’t objectively measure that Trump hates looking foolish, since we can’t review his mind or recognize what the is feeling. Over there is also no evidence provided to show that Democrats believe they have actually a winning hand.

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CNN bias Rating

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How execute we understand that Obama doesn’t have passion or sense of purpose? Here, the national Review writer suspect they recognize what is walking on in Obama’s head.

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National Review prejudice Rating

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Vox is upfront about the fact that they are interpreting what Neeson said. However this interpretation ran in a piece labeled objective news — not a piece in the Opinion section. Regardless of being overt around interpreting, by drifting far from what Neeson actually said, Vox is psychic reading.

Source article

Vox prejudice Rating

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7. Slant

Slant is a form of media bias that explains when journalists call only component of a story, or as soon as they highlight, focus on, or play up one certain angle or piece of information. It can encompass cherry-picking info or data to support one side, or ignoring another perspective. Slant prevents readers from gaining the full story, and also narrows the scope of ours understanding.

Examples of Slant

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In the above example, Fox News notes that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s policy proposals have received “intense criticism.” while this is true, it is just one next of the picture, as the Green brand-new Deal was obtained well by other groups.

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Fox News predisposition Rating

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Here, Snopes does not show or inspection why police made sweeps (did lock have proof criminal activity was occurring in the complex?), no one did Snopes questioning police for their justification, giving a one-sided view. In addition, the studies pointed to only show Black american are much more likely to it is in arrested for drug possession, no all crimes.

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Snopes predisposition Rating

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8. Fault Logic

Flawed logic or faulty reasoning is a means to misrepresent people’s opinions or to come at conclusions that space not justified by the provided evidence. Flawed logic have the right to involve jumping to conclusions or showing up at a conclusion the doesn’t monitor from the premise.

Examples of failure Logic

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Here, the daily Wire interprets a video to attract conclusions that aren’t clearly supported by the available evidence. The video shows Melania did not expand her hand come shake, however it can be since Clinton was too much away come reach, or perhaps there to be no particular reason at all. Through jumping come conclusions that this amounted to a “snub” or was the result of “bitterness” instead of restrictions of physical reality or some other reason, The daily Wire is engaging in failure logic.

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The day-to-day Wire bias Rating

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9. Predisposition by Omission

Bias through omission is a form of media bias in i m sorry media outlets select not come cover details stories or omit details that would support an alternate viewpoint.

Media outlets sometimes omit story in bespeak to serve a political agenda. Sometimes, a story will just be covered by media outlets on a details side of the political spectrum (for example, follow to research by gimpppa.org, stories about Benghazi were largely ignored by the Left, while part climate readjust stories have actually been largely ignored by the Right).

Examples of bias by Omission

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In a piece titled, "Hate crimes room rising, regardless of Jussie Smollett"s case. Here"s why," CNN claims that hate crime events rose for 3 years, yet omits information that might lead the leader to various conclusions. According to the FBI’s website, reports of dislike crime cases rose from previous years, however so walk the number of agencies reporting, “with approximately 1,000 added agencies contributing information.” This makes it unclear as to whether hate crimes room actually top top the rise, together the headline claims, or simply appear to it is in because an ext agencies room reporting.

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CNN prejudice Rating

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10. Omission of resource Attribution

Omission of source attribution is when a journalist does not ago up their cases by linking to the resource of that information. One informative, balanced short article should carry out the lift or context of a story, consisting of naming resources (publishing “on-the-record” information).

For example, journalists will often mention "baseless claims," "debunked theories," or note someone "incorrectly stated" something without consisting of background info or linking to an additional article that would certainly reveal exactly how they finish the declare is false or debunked. Or, reporters will write the “immigration enemies say," "critics say," or “supporters the the bill noted” there is no identifying who these sources are.

It is sometimes valuable or crucial to use anonymous sources, because insider details is only available if the reporter agrees to save their identity secret. But responsible journalists should be aware and also make the clear that they are giving second-hand info on perceptible matters. This fact doesn’t necessarily do the statements false, however it does do them less than reliable.

Examples the Omission of source Attribution

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In this paragraph, The brand-new York Times claims Trump "falsely claimed" millions had voted illegally; they connect to Trump"s tweet, but not to a source of info that would enable the reader to identify Trump"s case is false.

Source article

The brand-new York Times bias Rating

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In this paragraph, the epoch Times repeatedly states "critics say" there is no attributing the see to everyone specific.

Source article

The date Times prejudice Rating

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In a piece about the Mueller investigation, The new York Times never ever names the investigators, public representative or associates mentioned.

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The brand-new York Times predisposition Rating

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11. Prejudice by Placement

Story and also viewpoint placement deserve to reveal media prejudice by mirroring which stories or philosophies the editor finds many important.

Bias by story placement is one type of predisposition by placement. The stories that a media outlet features "above the fold" or prominently on its homepage and also in print show which stories they really desire you to read, also if you check out nothing else on the site or in the publication. Many human being will quickly scan a homepage or read just a headline, for this reason the story that are featured first can disclose what the editor really hopes you take far or keep top of mental from the day.

Bias by viewpoint placement is a related form of predisposition by placement. This can often be checked out in political stories. A well balanced piece the journalism will include perspectives indigenous both the left and also the ideal in equal measure. If a story only attributes viewpoints native left-leaning sources and commentators, or includes them near the height of the story/in the first couple of paragraphs, and also does not encompass right-leaning viewpoints, or buries them at the end of a story, this is an instance of prejudice by viewpoint.

Examples of predisposition by Placement:

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In this screenshot the ThinkProgress" homepage taken in ~ 1 p.m. ET top top Sept. 6, 2019, the media outlet chooses to prominently display coverage the LGBT issues and also cuts to welfare and schools programs. In the following screenshot the The date Times homepage taken at the exact same time ~ above the exact same day, the outlet privileges really different stories.

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Taken in ~ the exact same time on the same day together the screenshot above, The epoch Times choose to prominently function stories about a hurricane, the arrest that illegal immigrants, Hong Kong activists, and also the structure of the border wall. Notice that ThinkProgress" title on the border wall surface focuses on diverting funds from schools and also day cares, when the date Times headline focuses on the wall"s completion.

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Some final Notes ~ above Bias

Everyone is biased. the is part of person nature to have actually perspectives, preferences, prejudices, leanings, and partialities. However sometimes, predisposition — particularly media prejudice — can become invisible to us. This is why gimpppa.org gives hundreds of media predisposition ratings and also a media prejudice chart.

We space all biased toward things that display us in the right. We are biased toward info that confirms our existing beliefs. We space biased toward the world or details that support us, renders us watch good, and also affirms our judgements and also virtues. And also we are biased toward the much more moral choice of action — at least, that which seems ethical to us.

Journalism together a profession is biased toward colorful communication, timeliness, and providing audiences v a sense of the current moment — whether or no that feeling is politically slanted. Editors are biased toward strong narrative, stunning photographs, pithy quotes, and an effective prose. Every aspiring journalist has encountered media predisposition — periodically the tough way. If they continue to be in the profession, frequently it will certainly be since they have actually incorporated the biases of your editor.

But sometimes, bias can manipulate and also blind us. It deserve to put crucial information and perspectives in the shadows and prevent us from obtaining the entirety view.

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for this reason, over there is not a single kind of media bias that can’t, and shouldn’t occasionally, it is in isolated and examined. This is just as true for journalists as it is for their audiences.

Good reporting can shed valuable light on ours biases — an excellent and bad. By learning just how to point out media bias, just how it works, and also how it might blind us, we can avoid gift fooled by media bias and also fake news. We deserve to learn to identify and also appreciate various perspectives — and also ultimately, involved a an ext wholesome view.