News: Shaping the story

Take a close look at this comparison I stumbled upon while roaming the internet:

Notice the differences? From straightforward reporting of a fact to hyper-partisanship, these six American news sources approached the Hillary Clinton email story with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

One quick note, the one news network that seems to get the most criticism from right wing pundits — and especially in comments on social media — is NBC (along with its sister network MSNBC), yet its coverage of this story seems to trend toward viewing Clinton in a negative light.

Let’s take this globally and look at how a few other news sources presented the story.

Reuters leads with “Embattled”, suggesting that Clinton is in a precarious struggle. Note how the story is paired with a photo showing Clinton with a rather alarmed expression.
BBC News presents Clinton in a more conciliatory manner, as if she is being victimized by the State Department not releasing her emails… though the headline ends with “controversy”, making sure to paint the story negatively and with the promise of future trouble. 

UK’s The Guardian not only flame-throws with “scandal” in the headline, it also provides a short list of questions guaranteed to draw the reader further into the fire. Yet the editors also made sure to include a picture of Clinton with a “What, me worry?” pose.
Finally, Al Jazeera takes a mixed approach, highlighting Clinton as aggressively trying to clear the air but coupling with a much more casual photograph.

What have we learned?

It’s clear that one story can be handled — or, perhaps, manipulated — by major news outlets. They do so to grab an audience and, sometimes (more often than not), to shape the tone of the story to match the news organization’s own agenda.
It makes sense; if Fox News knows that its audience is overwhelmingly anti-Clinton, then to please the audience the network is more inclined to present stories in such a way that is not favorable to Clinton.
This is further evidence that you should never rely on a single news source. Instead, take the time to explore various outlets to be sure that you get balanced, credible information.

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