Picture a person sitting at the desk looking smug and at the screen with a smile. A truck has rolled over on the highway, a war is going on in another country, elections are taking place and murder has just been committed right outside a shopping centre. This person is still smiling and is greeting his/her viewers as if nothing happened. How do you know this source is reliable? How do you know that this source is trustworthy? Better yet, open up a newspaper or magazine, how do you know that their coverage and photos are not photo shopped? Buckle up as I will take you through the Top-10 unreliable news sources.
CNN is one of the largest news networks in the world, providing 24/7 news coverage to viewers around the world for over 30 years. According to Deal Magazine, it is available to 100 million US households and 212 countries and territories. It covers every major event as it unfolds; at the exact moment. Yet one must not forget that with every source comes a bias. CNN has been known to suppress freedom of speech and has edited files and footage of events to portray a bias. During the Gulf War, CNN was criticized for pushing stories that would interest viewers by avoiding portraying violent images. In another instance Eason Jordan, an executive at CNN, admitted to lobbying for the Iraqi government for 12 years to keep CNN”s presence in the country.
2. BBC News:
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, based in the United Kingdom. It is the largest broadcaster in the world and employs 23,000 staff members. Although this news source and public service broadcaster is known worldwide, it is not reliable in terms of producing trustworthy material. During the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in 2004, BBC was widely criticized by both sides. They summoned a commission to produce a report (Balen Report) to investigate this controversy, which BBC refused to release to the public in the end. If they had nothing to hide, the report would have been made public already.
3. Fox News:
Viewed by 102 million households in United States in the year 2009, Fox News is another major news source people relied heavily on. What viewers fail to realize is that Fox has repeatedly sided with the Republicans over the Democrats in its news coverages. From the 2006 elections to Obama’s health care reforms, Fox News has shown media bias towards political issues. While the White House was scheduling press conferences with regard to reform health care plans, Fox News was left out. As such, one could argue Fox News is not reliable because it does not provide both sides of the story to viewers.
4. CBC News:
CBC News is the largest news broadcaster in Canada. It has local, regional, and national broadcasts stations, which air on television, radio and on the internet. According to a national survey done in April of 2002, 36% of respondents agree that CBC television focuses on left issues such as street demonstrations, radical hostiles and globalization. Many of the respondents also argue that CBC should focus more on objective issues that do not concern voters voting on the left specifically. This bias is rooted in the origins of CBC. CBC was created when the idea ‘big nation-big government’ was in place. This belief still is dominant in CBC’s views as pluralism is not encouraged or embraced by the network. Many citizens still wonder why CBC is still being funded for such biases.
5. Al Jazeera News:
Based in Qatar, Al Jazeera News is a news and current affairs television station broadcast via satellite to large Middle Eastern audiences. Although Al Jazeera is an Arabic television network watched by various Middle Eastern groups, it has been widely criticized by countries like Bahrain and Egypt for biases. Furthermore, BBC reported criticisms from United States and Great Britain over uncensored graphic photos of innocent British and American soldiers brutally murdered. Their views are supportive of certain groups over others and sometimes depict double standards.
6. New York Times:
New York Times is a popular newspaper in the US. Despite its popularity, the newspaper has quite a few biases. In one specific instance, an image was worth a 1000 words. A single glance of the photo above would make the person in green crazy and psychopathic. New York Times featured this photo the day after the event occurred. Despite what this picture depicts, the man in green is a Border guard in Israel coming to the rescue of an American Yeshiva student living in Jerusalem, beaten up by a mob. Is this really what readers thought was happening? See for yourself. 7
Newsweek is a magazine published in New York and is widely circulated in North America. On April 26, 2011, in a Newsweek article titled “Straight Jacket” Ramin Setoodeh stated that gay actors are not able to play straight characters. He challenged the skills and acting abilities of various actors such as Jonathan Groff and Sean Hayes. This caused a great deal of controversy especially with advocate groups such as LGBT. As a major media source, opinions that are meant to hurt someone’s reputation based on sexual orientation are not objective. This media source is thus not reliable.
8. LA Times:
LA Times is the second largest metropolitan newspaper in the United States. It is the fourth widely distributed newspaper in America. However, in 2003, Brian Walski combined photographs to create a dramatic and contentious effect. The last photograph in the strip pictures a British soldier pointing a gun at an Iraqi with a child. In reality, the soldiers was simply he was directing civilians to safety, as the other two photos illustrate.
9. Time Magazine:
Time Magazine is popular amongst citizens in North America. However, if you examine the two pictures above, you will notice that the one on the right is a bit off. Time Magazine has manipulated and altered a photo of O.J. Simpson to give readers a specific impression. They already determined Simpson’s guilt by making him look more sinister. Looking at the picture, readers already know he is guilty…or is he?
10. Jon Stewart Daily News:
One should be aware of comedy present on television news stations. Jon Stewart provides fake news on his show using comedic satires. It turns headlines and current affairs into something enjoyable for someone to sit back and watch relaxingly. One should not take Jon Stuart’s opinions seriously.