Kelly’s Korner: Detecting Bias Follow Up

by Kelly Du

With all the recent media coverage surrounding the Trayvon Martin killing, much of the media quickly reported on the story without any restraint. The coverage soon escalated without much consideration of the facts. The attention primarily centered on the supposed racism against Trayvon Martin by the killer, George Zimmerman. There was extreme media bias towards the idea that George Zimmerman was a murderer because of racism. Much of the news broadcasts jumped to conclusions in order to push this certain idea that racism was the cause for the killing.

Controversy was sparked when NBC’s Today show ran an edited audio version of George Zimmerman’s phone call to the police. It appears as if Zimmerman says, “’This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black.” In context though, the phone call went like this:

Zimmerman: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”

911 officer: “OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?”

Zimmerman: “He looks black.”

Zimmerman only mentioned that Martin was black when he was prompted to.  NBC used bias through selection and omission. The media created this public frenzy to push its own agenda, but if you really looked at all the facts, maybe racism wasn’t such a prominent component to this story.

“NBC Launches Internal Probe over Edited 911 Call in Trayvon Martin Shooting.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 02 Apr. 2012. Web. 08 Apr. 2012. <http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/02/nbc-launches-internal-probe-over-edited-11-call-in-trayvon-martin-shooting/&gt;.

“The Trayvon Martin Controversy: Has the Media Gone Overboard?” The Week. The Week Publications, 05 Apr. 2012. Web. 08 Apr. 2012. <http://theweek.com/article/index/226469/the-trayvon-martin-controversy-has-the-media-gone-overboard&gt;.

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Kelly’s Korner: Detecting Bias Follow Up

  1. Ashley

    Very interesting article. I feel like it’s very difficult to catch or avoid media bias. I guess it’s always better to look at many different sources than just one. This reminded me of the Casey Anthony’s case and how there was so much controversy and media bias. I felt that Nancy Grace displayed strong bias on CNN by claiming that Casey killed her daughter.

  2. Tristan

    Shame on the Today show for being so lazy as to not show the entire transcript! I get really disgusted by all the media hype and attention over a news story. They try to make things much more dramatic than they really are. Everyone just wants to jump on the latest bit of interesting news. By doing so, all journalistic integrity is gone and is replaced by bias. I think the media needs to settle down and just face the facts and report them honestly.

  3. P.F.

    This just proves how we can’t always believe what we hear on the news. They’re always pushing this certain agenda to the public. I’m glad that someone noticed the mistake and made it known. It’s not okay to distort a phone conversation and take it out of context just to make someone look bad.

  4. Rachel

    The whole Trayvon Martin case was just out of control. I’m glad that this biased report was caught because this racism idea needs to end. Let’s stick to the real facts instead of manipulated ones.