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This is a sample of how the analysis should be.
How can people detect bias in the news articles of COVID-19 outbreaks? Due to the various publishers and different writer’s point of views, news reporting about the current pandemic are different. Bias exists in every news story and it can influence readers’ perspective and attitudes to the issue. Regarding to the Chinese health tracking app introduced during the COVID-19 outbreaks, two different media companies reported this issue. One news report is from CNN, an American news-based channel owned by CNN Worldwide; another article was published on the BBC Chinese, a news website owned by BBC which provides Chinese language news service. Although both news articles report the same issues, the coverages of the articles can differently influence the readers because of the bias in headlines, the use of powerful images and the different language and contents.
The two news sources have different headlines, and each of them can grab a reader’s different degree of attention. The headline from CNN’s news article, With the coronavirus under control, this Chinese city wants to score and rank its residents based on their health and lifestyle, is more objective than the other one. For example, it uses the word “this Chinese city” and “wants to” to introduce the main issues instead of using the city’s name; this shows that it considered its audiences may not recognize the city in China. Another headline from BBC Chinese is in Chinese version; its translation is Can special measures in the epidemic be normalized? Hangzhou’s permanent “health code” plan is questioned. Since Chinese people are the main readers of BBC Chinese, the headline of this issue includes the city’s name “Hangzhou”; the headline starts with a question that attracts to readers’ attention and thinking. It is obvious that there is bias in this headline; it indicates that the plan is permanent and in doubt. In this case, the headline of the news article from BBC Chinese informs that the article will report the problem of the plan and how the public responds to the plan. In addition, it may aim to cause more people to criticize this issue. Therefore, the headline may influence readers in different ways because of its special type of audiences.
Both news articles use powerful and similar images to illustrates the issue, which can shape readers’ perception of the issues; but the images included with two different articles leave different impacts on the readers. The news article from CNN includes two images. One is the graphic of the proposed personal health code system offered by Hangzhou Municipal Health Commission; it includes the details of what the health tracker app is and how it scores the residents. Another picture shows that local people have to wait for a long line to check their health condition by using the QR codes when going to the places they want. Similar to this news articles, the graphic of personal health code system in the news article from BBC Chinese is in Chinese version and provides more details. This article also includes the second picture in the CNN’s, but in BBC Chinese, the picture is in closer view, which more clearly highlights the strictness of the plan. Except for these two images, the news report from BBC Chinese includes two more images, which gives more details and persuasive messages of the issues of the readers. Therefore, compared to the CNN’s, the BBC Chinese’s provides more details and more emphasis on the plan’s questionable points.
Although each news article has similar content, but the information are presented in different ways. The similarities between the two articles is the introduction of the “health code” system and the potential issue of the permanent plan. Both articles report that the residents in Hangzhou have privacy concerns about the proposal. With the complaint of the users reported in the article, both news articles show the facts and true information of the news. In the news from BBC Chinese, it also introduced how the “health code” system was established during the epidemic, which emphasizes the important role of Chinese government. It inform how the government makes this proposal, which is through the angle of the government to provide a wider perspective on this issue. In addition, because of the different language versions in the two news articles, BBC Chinese’s can easily find more
resources in order to provide more details to the readers. Therefore, the language and the content in the article from BBC Chinese presents the issue with more completeness.
Overall, the two news articles emphasized the problems of the Hangzhou’s proposal of health code system, but the bias in the two articles’ headline, images included in the articles and the power of the text and language can influence the readers’ perspective and the attitudes toward the issues. Bias always exists in news reports; if people do not detect the bias, it is hard to know about the reality of the issue. Therefore, when reading the news articles, people have to look at the issue objectively and critically.
Two News articles resources: