(The Knife Media) Our impressions of what we read can easily be shaped by what data we’re given and what’s withheld. And unless you have prior knowledge of a news event, or a very critical eye, you might not know what you’re missing.
Saturday’s coverage of the protests in Russia provide useful examples of this slant mechanism. We compared two articles from the Russian state-run news agency TASS against three U.S. outlets. One of TASS’ articles, for example, reports on the protest in Moscow, saying “police officers show[ed] restraint” with protesters and made no detainments (the other three outlets reported there were a “few” arrests in Moscow). The impression or bias this article creates is that the protest was low-key, and the government showed leniency and handled the situation well.
Jens Erik Gould
Jens is a political, business and entertainment writer and editor who has reported from a dozen countries for media outlets including The New York Times, National Public Radio and Bloomberg News