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Exposing Reality: News Bias

Alexis Neumann
As a kid I used to love working with scratch art paper; on the surface it is a continuous
inky contract that covers the kaleidoscopic mosaic of colors underneath. As I would dig out
my excavation tool (typically a popsicle stick covered in glitter and crayon) and begin to chip
away at the surface, my sleuthing exposed the life giving realism of the multi-colored paper
underneath.

Our world isnt black and white, experiences arent fixed from one perspective; yet we
accept this limitation and restriction of information. Searching for and sharing the grey area
is vital for people to understand the complexities of the world and how to interpret that for
themselves. There is always going to be some bias in any sphere of journalism, its only natural,
and its inevitable because the journalism is being done by people with their own opinions,
agendas, and beliefs. There have been movements to expose this bias, such as Wikileaks, but
even with that goal it is unavoidable that there will always be some bias. Even if the person is
intentionally focusing on the facts of a situation, they are still human and see through their
lens of belief and will thus communicate these facts with this partiality. An image that I used
in my art escapade illustrated a woman holding a sign that stated HONEST JOURNALISM
IS DEAD. I used this because it not only showed the irritation that people have towards the
media through the violent wording but it also stated a concept that plagues todays society:
that the past was in many ways better because they didnt have the issues of the present day.

But this is misguided, ageist and simply futile; each generation is cursed with their own
difficulties to overcome and to deny this fact hinders solutions, progress, and society. A quote
from Enrique Dans, a professor of innovation at IE Business School states The only thing
that the latest WikiLeaks revelations show is that the world is as complex as it was twenty
years ago, or probably even more. Bias is inevitable, we are always going to be informed by
people, consequently aspects of their beliefs and character are subconsciously (or consciously)
going to be expressed and will color our responses to whatever is considered noteworthy
information. Moving past the step of acknowledgement then focuses us on acceptance of
reality, a notion that is illustrated in my motley of colors and concepts. But not only
acceptance of the real world, but also choosing to see decency and goodness in current events
and documentation of these.

I created a back drop of articles speaking about media and news bias, first amendment
related cartoons and information, constitutional and judicial branch writings about
government regulation of the media, media doctrines, the FCC, media consolidation,
defamation and the fairness doctrine, along with various Wikileaks statements and articles.
By constructing this black and white hodgepodge of writings I wanted to simulate the current
information over load especially in relation to news and media bias. But by drawing and
doodling over that with oil pastels of vivid colors I focused on advocating for positive
acceptance of reality in understanding that there will always be a partiality presented in
journalism. So encouraging people to do their own investigation is critical to advancing
honesty and truth, specifically in news related subjects. That is why I wanted to fabricate an
autonomous vehicle to scratch away at the surface of this inky-black contract of bias to reveal
the heartening display of information accessible to people once they do their own digging. The
self-determination of the excavation car impersonates a persons own discovery by taking
away the artists (my) bias to scratch away at certain parts of the canvas to reveal what I want
to be shown. In this way it makes the experience more interactive and relatable because the
viewer can visualize their own methods of research in the excavation cars unveiling of the
prismatic mosaic of information. Drawing on memories of our own childlike artistry inspires
this idea of exploration, investigation and research to not take what others say as fact but to
develop our own honest chronicle of facts and information.

Exposing Reality: News Bias


Packing tape protects the canvas of oil pastels and article/cartoon pastings underneath the
mixture of black paint and dish soap (which makes it easier to be scratched off).

Excavation car:
DC motor attached to a
battery with three wheels
so that it moves around
randomly. A popsicle stick
frame holds it all together
and scratches away at the
black paint.
Excavation car in motion at different points in its unearthing of the final canvas shown below.