People talk about a media bias in terms of the reporting that is done.
The bias happens before one word of reporting is done. The bias happens in which stories are selected as being worthy of reporting on.
One story noted a doubling of the number of same-sex households in Minnesota. Sounds impressive. It also noted that even though the number of same-sex households doubled in MN it still makes up less than one percent of the total.
On one hand, yes, if something in society is doubling that is newsworthy. But if it is still less than one percent of the total is that newsworthy?
Another example. The story said that the number of at-home births was increasing. Again it said that even with the increase at-home births are still less than one percent of the total.
Again, a national morning TV news show had a segment about a new book that had come out. There are only 120,000 copies of the book in print, 120,000! Yet why do a segment on this book and not one that has millions in print? This book was about a new trend in human sexuality, in other words, so what if it has only sold a relatively few number of copies, if the book is about a hot topic like sex, it will make the news because sex sells.
This just goes to show that newseditors decide what’s important and what’s not important even before the story is written/broadcast. If the story is not important in the eyes of the editor/producer it doesn’t make it to the news.
Certain top stories must be reported. But what about the other stories? Who decides what gets put on the rest of the newscast/newspaper?