According to the Fair.org web site, there are several steps to follow in order to detect bias in the news media. The following is a summary of those steps: First the source needs to be identified, focusing mainly on his/her political perspective. Second, identify the race and gender diversity of the sources. Third, establish the points of view of the reporters. Fourth, identify the standards, if there are double. Fifth, find out if the stereotypes limit the coverage to certain group. Sixth, identify the assumptions that are taken for granted and not evaluated any further. Seven, investigate the wording used in the reports. Eight, investigate if there is a lack of context. Nine, investigate if the headlines and the stories are related. Ten, what is the importance given to the story, find out if the coverage given to important news is appropriate. (How to detect bias in News Media. Fair.org)
Also, the web site New Bias Explored, the art of reading news, provides a set of guidelines in order to investigate what forms the news bias take. These guidelines are very similar to the ones presented in the previous paragraph: Word choice, Omissions, Limiting Debate, Story Framing, Sources, The four influences of the news: Geography, Objectivity, Institutional Affiliation, The medium. (News Bias Explored, The art of reading News) With all these guidelines and the previous method, let us perform an analysis on a very well known subject and find out if the media is biased.
The news would be "Spears will loose custody of children." (Spears will lose custody of children, CNN.com) Based upon the word choice analysis, the title nor the context include the word temporary. It misleads the public upon believing this is a final decision. The article is limited and omits the consequences resulting from the judge’s temporary decision, for example how much child support would Ms. Spears have to pay if she was to lose the custody of her children. The debate is also limited since it only mentions small statement regarding the wishes of Ms. Spears and there is no mention of the purposes of Mr. Federline. The story has been framed since it evolves only around the fact that Ms. Spears will lose the custody of her children, when it might focus on the reasons to pursuit the new split conditions, thus changing the emphasis and context of the news. The only source mentioned in this article is Superior Judge Court, Scott Gordon, since it is a temporary decision, other sources might be irrelevant. Within the four influences of the news, within the geography guideline, there is not much debate since it falls under the regionalism, the news takes place within the United States. Objectivity is referred to the method of the journalist’s searching for the truth. In this case, the reporter is only informing the public and not trying to obtain the truth behind Mr. Federline’s new intentions.
From the analysis method presented by Fair.org, there is a double standard while presenting Ms. Spears habits and continuous usage of controlled substances and alcohol. Where as to, Mr. Federline’s habits were not mentioned. The headlines and the story are partially related, since further down the article it mentions Ms. Spears’ due date for her new album,