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Chapters 5 and 6 – Media Coverage. Four Topics We’ll Be Covering: Bias in news reporting… Propaganda Techniques “Hype” in news coverage Ethical responsibilities of the media. Topic #1: Recognizing bias in news reporting & “Slanted Words” used in the media.

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chapters 5 and 6 media coverage
Chapters 5 and 6 – Media Coverage
  • Four Topics We’ll Be Covering:
  • Bias in news reporting…
  • Propaganda Techniques
  • “Hype” in news coverage
  • Ethical responsibilities of the media

This is not rocket science, simply be aware of “slants” or “bias” in the news. It may be obvious, it may be very subtle, but it’s almostalways there.Be especially aware of Card Stacking, Ad Hominems and False Dilemmas used with Biased news stations

which news sources are biased

Which news sources are biased?

Why do you say that? Proof? Specific examples?


Media usage of

Slanted Words


In regards to the recent GOV shutdown:‘Breaking News: Senate Kills House Bill’ (FOXNews, September 30, 2013)‘Breaking News: Senate Rejects House Bill’ (MSNBC, September 30, 2013)


‘Butcher Tells U.S. – Come and Get Me’ (New York Post, March 19, 2003)‘War Imminent as Hussein Rejects Ultimatum’ (New York Times, March 19, 2003)‘Saddam Scorns U.S. Ultimatum (New York Daily News, March 19, 2003)‘Baghdad Rejects Bush’s Warning’ (, March 19, 2003)


Hillary spoke at the National Convention on Friday. Her chat was followed by an address by Senator Joe Lieberman.


Andre Agassi beat his opponent soundly in straight sets. It was also 6-0, 6-0 for America’s sweetheart, Serena Williams


The Navy’s mission team included four aviators from Miramar and one female aviator from the Naval Air Station.


Two organizations sent representatives to the hearing: The Griffin Group, a conservative lobbying group, and the Burchard Group, a non-profit advocacy institute.

young woman 22 was bound and raped repeatedly for 10 days

Young woman, 22, was bound and raped repeatedly for 10 days.

(One station reported she was a prostitute and went to his house for “business”, the other station never mentioned it)












bias slanted news coverage
Bias/Slanted News Coverage
  • CNN – Obama appeals to Pepsi drinkers
  • FOX – Obama declares war on Coke
  • BBC – America carries out drone strikes in Afghanistan while Obama does nothing
you slant a news story
YOU Slant a News Story
  • Topic: “City of Beavercreek Hoping for Higher Holiday Sales”
  • Who: Brian Jarvis
  • What: Holiday shopping up 3.5% this year in ’Creek
  • When: Black Friday weekend
  • Where: Fairfield Commons & The Greene
  • Why: Unemployed numbers decreased this year 1.5%
  • Quote #1: “People are hitting the stores today.” (Jarvis)
  • Quote #2: “Business owners are ecstatic”

Propaganda is amoral


What do you guys think of when you hear “Propaganda?”


Why use Propaganda??

To manipulate the viewers' reason and emotions; to persuade you to believe in something or someone, buy an item, or vote a certain way.



Many techniques are not only used in marketing, but in politics as well.

generally divided into three main categories
Generally divided into three main categories:
  • White Propaganda: acknowledged sources and aimed at a sympathetic audience (your typical propaganda)
  • Grey Propaganda: anonymous quotes “Some Say” “Our Sources indicate…”
  • Black Propaganda: emanates from a source other than the true one.

In terms of Government, Who regulates all of this?


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates advertising. Their role is consumer protection (more on them in CH 13)


The IPA1937-1942 An organization composed of social scientists, opinion leaders, historians, educators, and journalists. “To teach people how to think rather than what to think.”

criticisms of the ipa
Criticisms of the IPA
  • Some argue that the IPA's approach is too simplistic because many messages fall into more than one category.
  • They do not discuss the credibility of the propagandist.
  • HOWEVER…Few argue with the IPA's basic goal of promoting critical thought among citizens.
1 name calling

#1 Name-Calling

Barack Obama is a liberal.

Obama’s foreign policy is “feckless.”




WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The burning question in the U.S. presidential election is, when will the "your mama" jokes start?With the fate of the world's most powerful country hanging in the balance, President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney turned to childish name calling on the campaign trail this week. ----Toronto Sun times

2 glittering generalities virtue words

#2 Glittering Generalities(Virtue Words)

Making broad statements that really say nothing of importance.

if elected i will get this country back on track a vote for shawn is a vote for peace and security

“If elected, I will get this country back on track!”A vote for Shawn is a vote for peace and security

3 transfer

#3 Transfer

Attempting to make viewers apply their feelings of love, admiration, distrust, or disgust from one thing to something else totally unrelated.

(blatant and subliminally)

transfer as name dropping

Transfer as “Name Dropping”

Rick Perales mentioned he was at Mitt Romney’s $1,000 a plate fundraiser.

4 testimonial

#4 Testimonial

“Our customers say……”

5 plain folks

#5 Plain Folks

Many lawfirms are from big cities;

Dyer, Garafalo, Mann and Shultz have always been from right here in Dayton, Ohio.

6 card stacking i simply think of this one as bias

#6 Card Stacking(I simply think of this one as “bias”)

Emphasizing one side and repressing another.

7 bandwagon

#7 Bandwagon

Don’t be the last on your block to own a new Chevrolet !


“hundreds of people have taken advantage of …….”

“One of the hottest trends right now”

Many different (and similar) techniques have been added/identified through the years as politics and advertising have evolved
ad hominem

“Ad Hominem”

An assertion which usually attacks a person, rather than looking at the merits of their argument.

you can t trust jane higgins to be your mayor she s just a soccer mom

You can’t trust Jane Higgins to be your mayor, she’s just a soccer mom!

*Reverse ad hominem may work as well…

Jane Higgins is such a professionally dressed woman, she will make a great mayor.

appeal to authority

Appeal to Authority

Referring to a well-known expert to strengthen an argument.

ap government teacher shawn cook is voting for vermin supreme what more do you need to know

“AP Government teacher Shawn Cook is voting for Vermin Supreme. What more do you need to know?”

scientific appeal

Scientific Appeal

Providing the audience with survey results and statistical evidences to publicize their product.

(overlaps many times with A.T.A.)

appeal to elitism

Appeal to Elitism

Appeal to the audience’s desire to be better than other people.

appeal to tradition

Appeal to Tradition

This government has worked for over 200 years, why change it?

Something is better simply because it is older.

vote to keep the curfew in effect in beavercreek after all it s been around for 10 years now

“Vote to keep the curfew in effect in Beavercreek, after all, it’s been around for 10 years now!

…any ad with “since(year)”

euphemisms and dysphemisms

Euphemisms and Dysphemisms

Euphemism: making something sound better

Dysphemism: making something sound worse

euphemisms dysphemisms
Euphemisms Dysphemisms
  • “Powder my nose”
  • “Birds and the Bees”
  • “Gentlemen’s Club”
  • F-word
  • N-Word
  • “Feminazi”
  • Junk Food
  • Snail Mail
  • Idiot Box
  • Blow chunks
  • “Cancer Sticks”
false dilemma

False Dilemma

Framing an argument in a misleading way, as though there are only two possible options.

Making illogical assumptions


Superintendent Jones opposes school prayer. She must be an atheist. DirectTV: “Don’t wake up in a roadside ditch”

straw man


Ignoring a person's actual position and substituting a distorted, or misrepresented version of that position.

(very similar to a false dilemma)


"Senator Jones says that we should not fund the attack submarine program. I can't understand why he wants to leave us defenseless like that."



Disaster will result if people do not follow a particular course of action.

Storm Center 7 Weather can save your life!



Help! I’ve fallen….and I can’t get up!!

obtain disapproval

Obtain Disapproval

Associating the opposite of your message with individuals or groups your audience dislikes.

seriously posted 5 08 a m monday march 4 2013 brace yourself for a return of snow tonight

SERIOUSLY ?Posted: 5:08 a.m. Monday, March 4, 2013“Brace yourself for a return of snow tonight”


Multiple reasons lie behind the lack of real investigative journalism today and the plethora of simplistic, eye-catching stories.

$$$ and Media Conglomerates

(more on conglomerates later)


Did the shift from issues to character result from the shift from newspapers to television (and computers today)?


Freedom of the Press has been crucial in facilitating the political discourse and education necessary for the maintenance of democracy.

Does the press meet its obligation to provide objective, issue-based coverage or does the media tend to focus on the trivial and sensational??


Freedom of the Press has been crucial in facilitating the political discourse and education necessary for the maintenance of democracy.(Code of Ethics)


1. the study of standards of conduct and moral judgment; moral philosophy2. the system or code of morals of a particular person, religion, group, profession, etc.