Course Links



Exercise 3:

Read this whole section carefully and then and answer the following question about bias:

Write a paragraph about why you think detecting and combating bias is important.

Now go to the news link and do the exercise on that page.



How do I understand and detect bias?

[You] can examine the motives of media producers and the techniques used to construct the messages conveyed......Consider what role [you] as media consumers, may be able to play in changing the media messages and representations [you] find offensive or oppressive. (Semali 2002, p290).

Semali (p290) goes on to say this about you can develop awaresness as a media consumer:

[You] can develop awareness in reading or viewing the news by watching for specific journalistic techniques which allow bias to "creep" into news stories.....some of the techniques are:

1. bias through selection and omission

2. bias through placement

3. bias by headline

4. bias by photos, captions and camera angles

5. bias through use of names and titles

6. bias through statistics and crowd counts

7. bias by source control

8. word choice and tone.

Whays to Combat Bias

"Through question, reflection, and action, students get to know their social context, evaluate it, and plan action to take to make changes." (Semali 2002, p295).

Also from Semali (p295) when reading/viewing a media text:

Identify social issues raised by the text [by asking]:

1. Through whose eyes or perspective do we get the information?

2. What assumptions are being made in the view presented?

3. What representations are there of the group concerned?

4. Whose voices are not being heard?

5. If one key piece of information were changed, how would the meaning change?

6. Why has this group been singled out for depiction in this manner? Who gains from this representation?

7. What would be the effect if the various depictions were reversed?


Bias: Inclination or prejudice for or against one thing or person.


Print out the following song from Disposable Heores of Hiphoprisy, we will play it in class a couple of times so you can get a feel for the song:

The Winter of the Long Hot Summer

Write a paragraph on how this song makes you feel about the subject of bias in the media.

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