The job of a reporter is to present a fair and balanced story. When we read, watch or listen to the news we will have our own predetermined biases that we think that stories have. In order to check ourselves we have to screen these stories and see if they do have a bias.
There are ways a reporter will select sources or have a bias of: omission, placement, story selection, labeling and on the how they spin the story.
I am using the article from FOX’s News website: ‘The biggest sham’: Sheriffs fume at mass release of 6,000 federal inmates.
The first thing I notice is the use of how they present the story in the title. The first thing the reader sees is ‘The biggest sham’. I mean why use that in the title. To me it is already skewing the story as if releasing the 6,000 inmates was a mistake or was done in some type of fashion which means fraud. My initial thought before reading the rest of the article was that, someone let the prisoners out by committing some type of scheme.
So here is the image they use:
The caption says that he is speaking to reporters during his visit back in July 2015; however I don’t get that from this image. The selection of this photo could indirectly evoke a sense of the President going into the prison and opening the door himself, they even have a jail cell with an open door.
FOX mentions “Local sheriffs across America are voicing concern for the safety of the citizens they’ve sworn to protect,” However they only use two highly emotional and extreme quotes from Sheriffs from Arizona and Texas. Arizona and Texas are just one state apart and to me that doesn’t equate to across America. So in my opinion, the word play and selection of sources and quotes taken from those sources were merely selected to spin the story in the way that it did.
FOX was using a lot of sources who have a clear bias of the poisoners, instead of presenting information that could be verified they used quotations from these sources.
‘I’d be amazed if the 6,000 … being released are non-violent.’
– Sheriff Harold Eavenson
I would have liked to have been provided with more factual information about the release of the inmates however I couldn’t because a lot of it was overshadowed by these extreme views of the sources.