Journalistic bias in action, example XXVI

Journalistic bias in action, example XXVI

Here’s an example of how failing to tell the whole story can lead to bias and prejudice. At first, this story about a pregnant high school senior who defies her Catholic school’s ban on her attending her graduation looks like a case of Catholics being hypocrites about supporting women and girls who choose to keep their child instead of aborting them. After all, the father of the baby, we’re told, was allowed to graduate. Or is it that simple?

In fact, nowhere does it say that the girl’s pregnancy had anything to do with her ban from the event. Our only clue comes from this statement: “In March, school administrators had informed Cosby that she was not allowed to attend school for the remainder of the year because of safety concerns.” That’s it? What safety concerns? Didn’t the reporter think that the specifics might be relevant? Why did the school think the girl’s safety was in question?

There’s a lot more to this story, but the Associated Press couldn’t be bothered to find out and the news agencies that picked this up couldn’t be either. This is why you have to be a critical consumer of the news. You must use your critical thinking skills and not just accept things at face value. The most important question is “Why?”

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