Pizza and Politics: Media Bias

In the current 24-hour media landscape, consumers are constantly exposed to news from all sides and biases. On Nov. 6 students gathered in the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service at Southern Utah University to discuss media bias and a plethora of related subjects.

The specific subjects ranged from whose responsibility it is to avoid media bias, if corporations should be held responsible for the results of their spending, social media ads, social media regulation, how the freedom of expression and facts should be balanced, if news corporations should be allowed to express a bias and the balance of national security and freedom of speech.

State media such as the BBC, France 24, or the RIA Novosti (the Russian state-operated news agency) who are controlled financially and editorially by the state was discussed. The United States does not have a state media.

One of the questions in reference to state media with many responses from the audience was, “Is this regulation or censorship?” 

”I think things like the BBC are fine,” said Jeff Carr, student body president, and a junior political science major. “I think that in a free society with other sources of free media that’s great, but I think that as soon as it’s the only source of media and it is state-controlled, it takes very little to begin to manipulate it.” 

Other topics included whether state media eliminates bias and if the campus policy is effective in reducing bias in the three primary new sources on-campus, those being the University Journal, Thunder 91.1 and SUTV. 

According to the policy, it protects the constitutional rights to freedom of the press, but broadcasts and publications using university funds are subject to regulation and review by the STIL office, independently and objectively.

If you would like to participate in future debates on topics like these, Pizza and Politics is held every Wednesday at 12 p.m. in ST 112.

Story by Morgan Crookston
Photos courtesy of Morgan Crookston