What is partisan media bias?


Partisan media bias is the tendancy to report news in order to serve a particular political leaning.


American media bias has been apparent from as early as the 19th century, but has made a recent comeback since the rise in opinion-based journalism. In the 1960s and 70s, the Vietnam and Cold War sparked a greater division between the two political parties, and as a result Journalists were encouraged to add analysis and opinion into their reporting. As news incorporated more and more analysis, the demand for that type of media grew, giving businesses an opportunity to market news to more niche audiences.1
Looking at today’s media landscape, there are countless sources of information (cable news, newspapers, social media, radio shows, podcasts, etc.) compared to the 1970s when NBC, ABC, and CBS were the only broadcast news stations.2 The high volume of both opinion-based journalism and news sources to deliver it has made it possible for us to surround ourselves with like-minded media exclusively, completely avoiding any media that offers any opposing point of view.

1Baughman, James L. “The Fall And Rise of Partisan Journalism.” University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Journalism Ethics, 20 April 2011, https://ethics.journalism.wisc.edu/ 2011/04/20/the-fall-and-rise-of-partisan-journalism/. Accessed 19 April 2020.

2Hall Jamieson, Kathleen and Carlos Maza. “Why you still don’t understand the Green New Deal.” YouTube, uploaded by Vox, 11 March 2019.