As a writer for our very own newspaper, I find it extremely important to remain professional and neutral when writing news articles. However, as this is not one of those articles, I feel free to express my opinion; media bias is an issue that I take very seriously, especially now, in the midst of a federal election.
Everyone has a right to their political views and they have a right to their opinions. However, journalists have a responsibility to inform the public of the facts in these elections without letting their own ideologies bleed through. It doesn’t matter if someone is a Conservative, a Liberal, or a New Democrat, the information given to the public should not be coloured by the writer’s political views.
The perfect example of media bias pops up on CBC.ca. In the politics section, I read an article titled “Canada election 2015: Where the leaders are Monday” by the Canadian Press. As the title suggests, this post details the areas and events our political leaders will be in on Monday, September 21st. For the leaders of the Green Party, the NDP, the Liberals, and the Bloc, all the article does is state where the leaders will be and to what party that part of Canada is loyal.
However, in mentioning Stephen Harper and the conservatives, the writer felt the need to insert little jabs about Harper’s character into the article. Where other leaders were said to be “attending morning town hall meetings” or “visiting a small beer maker and lobster restaurant”, Harper is “expected to take a shot at liberal leader Justin Trudeau”.
Clearly whoever wrote this article isn’t a big fan of Harper or the conservatives, and that’s fine. However, it isn’t alright to use the power they’ve been given as a journalist to enforce their own beliefs when it is not appropriate.
There are articles that are written to express the opinion of the writer. News articles aren’t like that. The reader is expecting to receive facts, and just facts. It’s so important for every Canadian citizen to be informed on what’s going on within our government and our elections. It’s even more important for them to draw their own conclusions, and to vote based on who they truly believe is the best candidate for our country – not for whoever the media has decided they should like best.
As voters, it’s our responsibility to stay informed. How can we accomplish that if the tools we depend on to do so are twisting facts and colouring stories to fit their author’s preferences? As a journalist and as a voter, I find it imperative for the media to stay above the fray and do their jobs professionally and respectfully, no matter what they’re reporting.
Written By: Ashley Langburt
Originally Published: September 2015