Piece by Piece: biased media fuels polarized politics


Morgan Kong

Staff reporter Madison Saviano explores hot topics and issues that students face in her weekly column Piece by Piece.

Madison Saviano, Staff Reporter

The First Amendment of the Constitution ensures the freedom of the press, however in 1787 it was impossible to anticipate that the modern day implications of mass media could serve to retract from freedom. 

However, some of today’s mass media is potent to democracy as it pollutes and polarizes politics making it difficult for us to determine which news is founded and which is faulty. While it is our responsibility to fact check, we often lose our ability to critically analyze when faced with a surge of speculative information, or “fake news.” 

This happens when “facts mingle with half-truths and untruths to create factitious informational blends”. The speculation that fake news creates “breeds cynicism and [hurts] political discourse,” which in turn pollutes politics. As hinted at above, when politics are polluted with “fake news” the flow of political ideas which America is dependent on is disrupted.

Polarized politics are perpetuated by the media’s perceived lack of neutrality. The media’s polarization effectively eliminates neutrality when “in this tribal dynamic, each side views the other ‘out group’ party with increasing distrust, bias and enmity”. When the “us vs them” mentality is adopted, the public loses the ability to come to a compromise, as neither side can be heard out. 

In addition, any rationality is drowned out amidst the inceasent blaring of biased news outlets such as Fox News and CNN. Titans like Fox and CNN dominate the industry with bias news, which according to the Knight Foundation comprises 66 percent of the media (Jones)

Because of the huge disparity between bias and unbias  media outlets, it is extremely difficult for everyday people to discern what is fact, fiction, and fable. When the media pollutes and polarizes politics, American culture, which is a key principle of democracy, is compromised by fake news. However even in spite of these unfavorable conditions, we cannot relent. If we, the consumers which media titans rely upon, demand change, we may one day make it happen.