Problem

Distorted media presentations


Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Bias in the media
Biased media coverage of news
Confiscation of news media
Nature:
The replacement of facts by inaccuracies or intentional untruths in news coverage is an example of how vulnerable the public is to the media. Other distortions occur by the use of stereotypes and perjorative adjectives in slanted interpretations; by the dilution of news coverage of significant events with irrelevant matters; by the invention of falsely described comprehensive reporting on a subject where there is incomplete knowledge; and by a number of other practices ranging from silence to useless information. Distortion affects the contents of all media and all messages, not just the news. It affects more than contents as well, for example: frequency, timing and continuity. In unscrupulous private or public control, the media is a tool for domination, as there are few regulations preventing distortion.
Background:
Media presentations involve messages of all kinds: hard news; soft news; commentaries; reports; articles; analytical surveys; political cartoons and other political humour; documentaries 'eye-witness' specials; institutional and ideological advertising; consumer product commercials; entertainment; and practical information. The government may also be presented in the media during elections with paid advertising, and interviews and news coverage arranged by public relations staffs.

A joint media campaign is being waged by the three cellular telephony companies in Israel to convince the public that the cellular antennae pose no health hazard to users. The three companies published a magazine called "The Cellular World", which the Israeli Green Party claims constitutes a propaganda mouthpiece for the cellular telephony companies, and represents organisational activity prohibited under the Cartels Law.

Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
15.11.2001 – 00:00 CET