Why your opinion doesn’t matter

We all know those people who aren’t afraid to share their opinion. While annoying, you learn at a young age these people are simply a fact of life, and you learn to live with it.


There are certain outlets, however, like newspapers and news stations, where it’s reasonable to expect an unbiased account of what’s going on. The problem is, that is not always the case.


A perfect example of this is the events that occurred in Arizona over the past few months. In preparation for the state’s presidential primary, the election officials closed over 70 percent of the polling stations. This led to a shortage of voting ballots and long lines, which infuriated hundreds of thousands of people. Beyond that, however, there were plenty of people who had been registered as democrats or independents who were just turned away at the door after being told they were not registered at all. To be clear, people were actually denied their constitutional right to vote. And new sources didn’t say a word about it for weeks.


It wasn’t until recently that the media picked up on this issue. This is one example of media bias perfectly displaying how news sources handpick content based on what they want viewers to hear. Sources that fall on the more conservative side chose not to write about the issue of “lefters” being denied the right to vote.


So what does that say about our news sources? Do we live in a world where we just have to accept bias as the truth?


Well here at the Courier, we decided to give you our biased opinion on what needs to change.


First things first; we have to become aware of our biases. Often times people aren’t consciously aware to what extent they lean on either side, and this can lead to sloppy reporting. Just like anything in life, we must be aware of our bias if we want to move forward from it. This goes for readers too. Reader bias can damage a reporter’s reputation based on the simple instinct for a reader argues facts based on personal views.


We must also understand that bias is natural and unavoidable. However, any journalist reporting straight news has a job to tell both sides, and quite frankly we don’t see that being done. More and more we are finding poorly researched stories and articles that don’t even mention the other side of things.

But bias isn’t always personal. Sometimes it seems a reporter’s view is more of an advertisement from the news station’s sponsors. This is often done at smaller, local stations who rely on their sponsors to keep running.


More than anything else though, the state of journalism in this country is really to blame. We write about what we relate to. You won’t see very many men discussing feminism, or cisgender people writing about transgender rights.


While this can be wonderful for a writer, as it can cause these individuals to feel passionate about their work, it also poses a problem for the credibility and lack of bias for the news source. These writers aren’t going to go out of their way to argue against themselves, and that’s when you see this major bias come into play.


As young journalists, we at the Courier are frustrated. We are all passionate about a field of work that is slowly but surely ruining its credibility due to these so called “professionals” who aren’t able to write a straight article. What are us young writers to do when the people we look up to cannot put their personal opinions aside to do their jobs with integrity?


We must dare to do what these reporters will not. We do our very best to write with no bias, and we pride ourselves in doing that. There is a time and a place for a writer’s thoughts, and they belong in the opinion section of the paper.


Next time you find yourself reading the paper or watching the news, we encourage you to do a little critical thinking and ask yourself if it’s biased or not. We also challenge you to identify your own bias when reading news you don’t necessarily agree with. The only way for the media industry to regain its dignity is by leaving opinions at the door, but as readers, we need your help to do the same.