When examining the role of media in society as well as media bias, we focused on the news. A 2005 documentary titled Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism takes a look at the man behind the media. Outfoxed tells the story of the rise of Rupert Murdoch as a media mogul. Once at the top, his power and influence is questions by the creators of the documentary. This blog will analysis both the content of the documentary and the documentary itself.
Focusing primarily on Murdoch’s Fox News, the documentary notes the use of this “Fair and Balanced” slogan often used by Fox News. However, critics in the documentary argue that this slogan is irrelevant. There is an “appearance of being balanced” when in fact, the report has an agenda.
The documentary gives numerous examples of how the news organisation conducts itself. A daily memo is distributed internally with this “message of the day”. This message will be the agenda for all those in the organisation. Who writes these memos and their intention or agenda is biased, and therefore the media outlet could consequently produce biased news products. If Murdoch himself controls the message of the day, then we should question the news stories we consume.
Often reporters take liberties to insert opinions yet portraying them as facts. “Some people say” is a broad statement that allows the reporter to voice their own opinions on an issue or story. Using this generalised term suggests the reporter is bringing the public’s discussions into the report.
The documentary itself is clearly taking a stance against Murdochs business practices, in particular how Fox News conducts itself as a news organisation. While alluding to media ownership, the documentary paints a negative picture of Fox News. While it may be presenting facts, it is encoded in such a way that the audience will see a negative side to the news organisation. This bias is somewhat hypocritical and doesn’t allow for a well-rounded perspective.