Bias, Politics, and Identity in the News and YouTube


  • Sarah Rutledge


Recently, with the rise of technology, there has been a generational shift regarding where people get their news, from television to social media. The implications of this shift are relevant to the fields of Rhetoric, Communication, and Media Studies and have impacts on even broader audiences. This research paper focuses on how political media bias, the shift of television news media to social media, and YouTube, specifically, have impacted or could impact audience identity, power relations, and the genre of news itself. Drawing upon the theoretical lenses of genre theory, political communication, naïve realism and the analytical frameworks of power and identity, this study analyzes four news channels, two television stations and two YouTube channels, to determine ways that they portray their bias. Following this analysis, the paper concludes with a discussion of the ethics of polarization and social media and how the shift of television to social media relates to political identities and what that means, ethically, for the future of the news genre, communication, and polarization.