Media Reporting Bias

by Anthrogoddess
It’s not exactly a news flash, but it is frustrating, seeing how news of the Gay Pride parade in Croatia has been reported;

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/5133140/Croatia-gay-parade-turns-violent-over-100-arrested

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/06/11/croatia-gay-parade-turns-violent

Glancing at the headlines anyone would think that it is those participating in the parade that had turned violent. It wasn’t. Those whom were violent – hurling abuse, bottles and stones at the marchers – were onlookers and an anti-gay protest. The headlines should have more accurately said ‘anti-gay protesters in Croatia use violence against peaceful Gay Pride parade’.

But back to the media reporting. I read a few articles, thinking maybe they would improve in content once I got past the mis-leading headline. I was disappointed. Reporters seemed most concerned about their 4 fellow journalists being injured, despite the fact that there were many more in the parade that were injured (this was briefly mentioned later on in a couple of articles).

The one quote that many publications decided to include was from an onlooker who said “events of this kind should be forbidden”. Yeah, ‘cos that will help…….How about getting some quotes from the marchers? Oh wait, they did include this  – ‘Homosexual groups have long complained about hostility towards open expression of their sexual orientation’. Am I being unfair in thinking that the media could have come up with some better wording, such as replacing ‘complained’ with ‘stated’, since the statement is clearly factual, given the evident violence directed at the marchers from the onlookers?

This report was an improvement on the others, with quotes from Amnesty International – http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n252200

Many other reports focused on Lady Gaga’s comments – http://www.g/ALeqM5hnZkMTi5JbVwallxccXsx1qOPdsw?docId=CNG.25b78f54a3b7e30abed76c9d803100d4.101

It would be good to see more conscientious reporting overall however. IMO many reporters simply aren’t aware of their own ingrained prejudice and how that might come across in their reporting of events. This can be seen in many different reports on cultural and political issues where ethnocentrism is obvious, as well as issues of domestic and sexual violence where misogyny is often subtly (or not so subtly) evident. Perhaps journalists should have to take some culture, gender and sexuality papers during their training hmmmm?

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2 thoughts on “Media Reporting Bias

  1. Journalists definately should take training on these things. The number of times I facepalmed while trying to talk to the ODT about how the ‘Queer Rep.’ doesn’t just represent “gays.”

    I happen to be at an institute that teaches journalism – I’ll bring it up.

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