Biased or Balanced?
If a newspaper or magazine article is biased, it means that it takes sides and does not give a fair representation of both sides of an argument.
If a newspaper or magazine article is balanced, it means that it does not take sides and it considers both points of view in an argument or situation equally.
Here are two short articles about the same subject. Do you think they are balanced and fair articles, or do they take sides and present only one point of view?
Ain’t they got anything better to do?
Imagine the scene: you’re a poor, lonely 87-year old woman, fiercely independent and used to living alone. The house you have lived in all of your life becomes freezing as temperatures plummet in winter. You have no central heating and little money. In desperation you walk 3 miles to a local park and cut down a tree for firewood. Whilst lugging the heavy wood home, you are stopped by the police and arrested for destroying public property! This is policing gone mad. Why arrest the poor and helpless when real criminals are roaming the land?
Woman arrested for chopping down tree
Brenda Haindrock, 87, was arrested yesterday for chopping down a tree in Pumley Country Park.
Police Constable U. R. Nicked said the pensioner was apprehended at 5pm on High Street as she dragged a tree along the pavement.
Mrs. Haindrock, when interviewed, said: “I have no money for coal or firewood, so I chopped down a public tree. I’m a member of the public so why I can’t I do that.”
A police spokesman said: “Destroying public property is a crime.”
So, which article do you think is biased and which balanced? Why?
Have a go at writing two articles like the ones above, one that presents a biased opinion of a news story and one that gives a balanced opinion.
Your story could be about anything.
How about a football match that one team won 11-nil?
Or, a school that has banned all chocolate?
Or maybe a pop star who cancelled all of their concerts, without saying sorry, because they wanted to go shopping?
Or, another idea of your own!