Investigation into the biases of popular news sources

Which networks have remained trustworthy and factual in this age of polarization, if any?

Dylan Zellner, Reporter

Misinformation has forced itself into the day-to-day lives of everyone so subtly that many people haven’t even noticed. It is a plague that has latched onto anyone that it can get its hands on. It seems as if nobody knows who can be trusted, so no one gives much thought to anything anymore.

There has to be some unbiased sources that can be trusted, but it’s hard to find them in the jungle of bias where towering trees of confusion block us from seeing the truth. In order to find unbiased sources, I have examined four major news networks: Fox News, CNN, NPR, and PBS News.

Fox News is very commonly known as a conservative leaning news station, with Tucker Carlson claiming most of the credit. Tucker Carlson is a Fox News anchor who has his own segment, called Tucker Carlson Tonight, where he states his right-leaning opinions as if they are fact.

Carlson speaks his opinions so abruptly that he has had lawsuits filed for slander. Fox’s defense was that no “reasonable viewer” would believe what Carlson states, even though he is a news anchor that speaks as if what he says is fact.

I think that it is completely outrageous that Carlson is allowed to say whatever he pleases because no “reasonable viewer” would believe him.

Although Carlson is extremely biased, it doesn’t mean the entire station is as biased as him. Fox News is still a right-leaning news station that can embellish from time to time, however, after actually watching a Fox News report, I was surprised at how Fox News isn’t as right-leaning as once believed. If Fox News is going to be something someone chooses to watch, I would suggest also getting information from another source, because strictly watching Fox News can leave any viewer becoming unknowingly biased as well.

Similar to Fox News, CNN is seen as biased as well, however, CNN is seen as more of a liberal news station. When watching CNN, the anchor’s reporting seems less biased than one would expect. For example, CNN News anchor Jake Tapper questioned why former Vice President Joe Biden didn’t give a stance on adding judges in a recent interview. That type of interview will make one question how biased CNN really is when they aren’t afraid to question the candidate that they would seemingly want to look good. CNN also fact checks Biden in the same way they do Trump.

This shows that they are actually going after what I suspect is their preferred candidate for the 2020 Presidential Election. CNN does have some biased undertones, but they aren’t as strong as Fox News, where it is almost impossible to find any form of debunking among their own party.

CNN does still have opinion pieces, but their opinion pieces are written and put into the category of Opinion writing. There isn’t a news segment dedicated to opinions, like Tucker Carlson Tonight. CNN is not an incredibly biased source, but is still left-leaning, in my opinion.

This means that when viewers watch or read something, CNN makes that viewer want to visit multiple sources to gain a better insight of the bigger picture.

According to Business Insider, a Gallup and Knight Foundation survey found out which news sources Democrats and Republicans believed were biased. Overall, NPR was rated as unbiased, but scored better among Democrats than it did among Republicans. In spite of Republicans seeing NPR as more biased, NPR has recently reported on the Amy Coney Barrett trial by only stating facts and quotes.

There seems to be no bias when correcting the mistakes that left-leaning sources have made. I believe that NPR is a trustworthy source some could even use to find when other sources are being biased and untrustworthy.

PBS News is another seemingly unbiased source that only delivers the facts. When covering the Amy Coney Barrett trial, instead of bending the truth to make it seem as if either the Democratic or Republican side is right, PBS News reports on the facts.

The news anchors give quotes and statements to summarize things their audience needs to know from whichever issue they are viewing. They give each sides’ view and positions so that any viewer can come to their own decision on which side they believe is correct.

News can easily be used to manipulate viewers into believing what the station owners believe, making it nearly impossible to know what the truth actually is. What we call the truth has turned into a weapon, giving power to whoever wields it.

Effort has to be put into finding trustworthy sources. This is even more important now because of how the world feels like it’s upside down, and we will not be able to make the world right side up if we follow everything blindly. We all have to put effort into finding the truth because it will help make our future more stable. It is up to everyone to fight misinformation and strive to educate themselves.