News outlets sway voters with biased language

For many young voters, the midterm elections are their first chance to have their voice heard. However, the media that these voters consume may manipulate this voice that they use.


[News Break: An Arrowhead Column]

With midterm elections approaching for many young Souderton voters, how news outlets present political issues can shape how future voters participate in the elections.
The midterm elections in November are already proving to be more turbulent than previous years, perhaps even more with the recent Supreme Court decisions overshadowing ongoing societal issues.
What is troubling to both new and seasoned voters is that this political divisiveness has bled over into news reporting.
Words like “radical,” “far-right” or “far-left” have been used far more now than they have in the past few years in this country.
The way news outlets have been using these words in news headlines to draw in target audiences is scary for the future of voter behavior and predictions based on such behavior.
This language influences voters into thinking that they should be viewing these specific topics one way or another, depending on the outlet’s bias.
In relatively unbiased outlets like ABC News and NBC News, there are several articles about major “issues” in the upcoming elections.
These issues are usually ones that are the most popular and recent in the common political climate across the country.
This use of intense language sways voters into considering only one aspect of the candidates’ potential policies.
Whether these articles are factual or not is not the point; the point is that this wording is making people think that they should care more about an issue, even if that issue does not impact them directly.
These news outlets seem objective on the surface, but their words reveal the underlying subjectivity that the reporter has.
Opinions have no place in news reporting, especially surrounding the political analysis or reporting of events pertaining to politics.
The point of political reporting is to present the information for how it truly is, not with any political slant behind it.
Although it is impossible to remain absolutely objective in any scenario, it seems like the rate of this subjectivity is on the
rise. Since America’s political climate is turning into a divisive space for upcoming voters who are pressured to join one side or the other, the lack of care taken for political reporting is a dangerous trend that should not be continued.
It’s hard for the average voter to change something as monumental as this, but there are various ways to be mindful of how news outlets affect opinions. The best way to avoid being swayed by this manipulative language is to truly dissect one’s media preferences.
How a media outlet uses language such as “major” or “important” in relation to certain events and topics is indicative of how that outlet leans as a whole on the political spectrum.
As the midterms approach and newly registered voters are turning to different places to learn about the dynamic and constantly changing policies that influence the American political climate, it’s necessary to use this level of critical thinking while watching any number of news outlets.