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BEYOND THE NEWS: Arizona producer weighs in on News Literacy

"Are you a journalist or an editorialist?"
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Posted at 7:54 AM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 10:11:23-05
"It is real important for people to understand that when you see something, you need to do more research."
— Ralph Score

NEWS LITERACY GOES BEYOND NEWS

Arizona Producer, Ralph Score, has been in the production and media industry for more than 45 years. After hearing and reading KGUN 9's coverage of news literacy, Score agrees that knowing the difference between good and bad information is key.

"People have an emotional narrative they like played to, and of course, we see that more prevalent today because of political divides. That's why you see that people will buy into something without really looking past the surface," said Score.

For Score, he says news literacy is not just a practice for what you hear or read about in the news. "Social media is something people need to be wary of in general because it's so easy to just spoof stuff."

During workshops that Score holds as part of the Willcox Film Festival, he tells his audience to not focus just on the overall message. Everyone should also pay attention to the words leading into a story.

"If they hear someone say, 'well I think this is going on,' you're probably going to get an opinion. Or if they say, 'it seems' or 'it appears,' that doesn't necessarily mean that's what it is. It just means this is their perception of something," said Score.

"It's subjective opinion that's cloaked as objective fact." —Ralph Score

UNDERSTANDING & IDENTIFYING BIAS

The News Literacy Project says bias is one of the most controversial and important subjects. Generally, people perceive bias through the lens of their own perspectives, values and beliefs, especially if they have a strong opinion about the topic being reported.

Because everyone has innate biases (based on their life experiences, or what they are told by their family, their friends and their teachers, or other factors), determining what constitutes bias in news coverage is extremely challenging.

There are five types of possible bias in straight news coverage:

  • Partisan bias — journalist's political views affect news coverage
  • Demographic bias — race, gender, ethnicity or other factors like culture or economic class, impacts news coverage
  • Corporate bias — business or advertising interests of a news outlet, or its parent company, influence how, or even whether, a story is reported.
  • “Big story” bias — journalists' perceptions of an event or development as a major, important story can cause them to miss key details and misrepresent key facts
  • Neutrality bias — journalist or news outlet tries so hard to avoid appearing biased that the coverage actually misrepresents the facts
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