Can you spot the bias?

In this special post, we're bringing you an activity from the Learning Zone. It asks you to spot where newspaper stories about Afghanistan are biased.

Biased means where someone lets their personal judgement get in the way of having an open-mind.

Sometimes, a country's relationship with another country affects the news they show people - as we will see below.

Let's hand over to Daniel, an editor at The Economist, to introduce your task:

Now join Tom to see how where a newspaper is can affect the news they show people.

Your challenge:

Pick one of the countries and complete these sentences for it:

  1. I expected the headline to be about...
  2. When I saw the Headline, I think the newspaper was trying to say...
  3. It is biased because...
  4. The story probably doesn't tell us that...

Please write one sentence for each. The best answers will show you have watched the videos carefully and will give evidence from them.

Comments (9)

  • British Council.jpg aware_painting | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    11 Dec 2021

    chose China and expected the headline to be China's economic opportunities and ambitions in Afghanistan. I think the newspaper was trying to say that China has the credit for building an economic Afghanistan again... I think it's biased because it shows China that it plays the role of custodian of Afghanistan's economic future. He did not disclose its goals and plans. The story did not tell us that China has hidden goals for its work in Afghanistan, controlling its natural resources, securing its borders, obtaining stability and the unity of China's security.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      aware_painting's comment 13 Dec 2021

      Do you also what China said about American involvement? This is probably the thing to focus on, given this is what the headline was talking about.

      Reply to this comment
  • British Council.jpg independent_technology | Jabalia Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    15 Dec 2021

    I will say about China

    1_ I was expecting the headline to be about China (We will build roads in Afghanistan with our alliance with the Taliban)

    2_ When I saw the headline, I think the newspaper was trying to say (China is the country that exports the most products and has the right to build roads anywhere it wants or anywhere convenient for it)...!
    And that Beijing's openness to the Taliban indicates an attempt to make the most of the rapid collapse of the American project in Afghanistan..!

    3_ He is biased because China has no right to build roads for its own good in a country that does not want that, especially Afghanistan, meaning that it has not yet stabilized after the twenty-year war..!
    Its affairs and conditions are very tense, and if China builds roads in its favour, Afghanistan's economic and political situation will be destroyed...!
    And because it also wants to build roads in Afghanistan so that China can benefit from its external contacts..!
    At the same time, Afghanistan's abundant lithium deposits - likened to Saudi Arabia's oil reserves - spurred electric car manufacturers to invest. China is the largest manufacturer of electric vehicles in the world...!

    4_ Perhaps the story does not tell us that: Those who support the idea of ​​China building roads in Afghanistan are (the Taliban), and that after the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, the movement will depend mainly on the money coming from China...!

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
      independent_technology's comment 15 Dec 2021

      Remember, bias is about the feelings and thoughts of a journalist in an article, rather than the right one country has to build roads in another country.

      Reply to this comment
    2. Ericka Shin.jpg Ericka @ The Economist
      independent_technology's comment 16 Dec 2021

      Thanks for your comment, independent_technology. I think you're saying the China Daily's headline, "America is a destructive force of division and death", is meant to voice support for China's road-building project. Could you say more about that? How does a headline about America's perceived impact in Afghanistan relate to China's mission to connect Asia?

      Reply to this comment
  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg smart_physics | Upton Cross Primary School | United Kingdom
    15 Dec 2021

    The headline 'What the heck did they all die for' is bias
    I think this because if you are going to send your army into a country you know that at least 1 person will die because there has never been a war where someone has not died. My question is to the person who created this article headline is that just why?

    Reply to this comment
  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg smart_physics | Upton Cross Primary School | United Kingdom
    15 Dec 2021

    The headline 'What the heck did they all die for' is bias
    I think this because if you are going to send your army into a country you know that at least 1 person will die because there has never been a war where someone has not died. My question is to the person who created this article headline is that just why?

    Reply to this comment
    1. Ericka Shin.jpg Ericka @ The Economist
      smart_physics's comment 16 Dec 2021

      Thank you for your comment, smart_physics. You mention that you'd like to ask the writer of this headline, "Why?" I'd like to pose some similar question to you: what do you think the writer meant when they came up with this headline, and why do you think they wrote it?

      Reply to this comment
      1. Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg smart_physics | Upton Cross Primary School | United Kingdom
        Ericka @ The Economist's comment 17 Dec 2021

        I think that the writer who wrote this headline was against sending some of the British armies to Afghanistan and wanted Afghanistan to be seen from a bad perspective.

        Reply to this comment

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