The as a social force and voiceThe as a social force and voice

The term “media bias” implies favoritism
or hate towards a particular social group, poltical party or a personality Political
bias has been a feature of the mass media since its birth with the invention of
the printing press. The expense of early printing equipment restricted media
production to a limited number of people. Historians have found that publishers
often served the interests of powerful social groups Petros,Christopherson, & Haugen, E. N. (2007).. In 1644,
John Milton published his first pamphlet “Areopagitica, a Speech for the
Liberty of Unlicensed Printing” to promote the freedom of mass media Kessinger,2004.
This was the very first publication in regard of freedom for the press and
media. In the nineteenth century the idea of unbiased reporting began to rise
and journalists started to consider it as an integral part of media ethics and
discipline. This resulted in media being recognized as a social force and voice
of the common people throughout the world Prentice Hall, 2006. But inspite of
all that both print and electronic media have been used frequently in history for
propaganda mechanism. This was mainly due to the reason that in earlier times
governments had the right for broadcasts licenses’ and only allowed priory
approved news to be broadcasted and regulated. However after a process of media
deregulation in the west most of the broadcast media became independent and
privatized but there still exists strong government intervention and monopoly
in the news. Morever the ownership of media concentrations in private hands has
led to serious media bias accusations as well. The biasness in media is mostly referred
as in case of political agendas.  There
are many examples of media being used as a poltical tool throughout the
history.

In 1978, congress in the
United States passed the Alien and Sedition Acts, which forbade newspapers from
publishing “false, scandalous, or malicious writing” against the
state government including banning any public opinion or activity against the
laws or the sovereignty of the state. During the American civil war (1861-65)
President Abraham accused print media in border states of biased reporting in
favor of the confederate cause and banned certain news paper and media houses
Random House, 1988. During 1890-1920 which is considered as the progressive
era of various journalistic styles some media houses were accused of yellow
journalism (i.e reporting and publishing without legitimate research) for
increasing sales For example, William Randolph Hearst, publisher of several
major market newspapers, deliberately falsified stories of incidents, which may
have contributed to the Spanish–American War Knightely, Phillip. 2004. During
World War II politicians who supported United States entering the war on German
side accused several international media houses of biasness and considered it
as a pro-jewish propaganda. They claimed that reports of Jewish mistreatment by
the german government were fake and biased. They accused Hollywood as a hub of pro-jewish
bias and even called for a complete ban of 
Charlie Chaplin’s film The Great Dictator as it was considred as a
disrespect of the respected german leader Columbia University Press, 2008.

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