Bias Is All Around You! Can you separate fact from fiction to safeguard your mental health? Let our handbook be your guide for inspecting all the information you are exposed to in social media today. If you cannot properly assess information bias it could:
1. Lead you to follow a false cause
2. Leave you feeling foolish
3. Tarnish your credibility
4. Attract the wrong people
5. Create undue stress
6. Compromise your values
7. Harm your mental health
These undesirable outcomes need not occur! For it’s time to read between the lines and assess bias now! Together, we can chart a new discourse, one that uses information wisely, with prudence, and goodwill. Join Erik Bean as he takes you on a rigorous yet introspective journey to snuff out bias, to understand algorithms that affect internet and social media information and provide you simple assessment tools that allow you to be more confident if you use the information and share it. Foreword written by Tim Vos, Ph.D., Director, School of Journalism, Michigan State University. Award-Winning Illustrator Gail Gorske provides relevant and brilliant handcut paper images.
Plot/Idea: As the internet becomes more accessible, the amount of false narratives, fake news, misinformation, and generally biased media that is circulating has increased immensely; therefore, Bean's manual could not have come at a more opportune time. Written with clarity, honesty, and transparency, his book is a must-read for all people who consume media, regardless of profession, age, or background. Every person holds their own biases, and every person can learn the tools to dismantle not only their own, but the biases of others.
Prose: Bean writes clearly and conversationally. His writing style is easy to understand without over-simplifying, and he provides resources and tools to assist the reader in further analyzing media for biases.
Originality: This book, although written about a pressing and necessary topic, remains quite unique, possibly because it presents the reader with a concrete formula for dissecting biases. Bean has presented it in such a manner that is simple to comprehend as well, so that it can be useful for all types of people from all walks of lives.
Character Development/Execution: Written in a clear manner, with an easy-to-follow format, and accompanied by interesting pictures that relate to the text and keep the reader engaged, this book has been put together purposefully and expertly.
Date Submitted: November 18, 2021
"A CRUCIAL EXERCISE IN SEARCH OF ACCURATE INFORMATION"
"A timely and valuable primer on how to assess sources." Review selected for publication in Kirkus Magazine, November 15, 2021
"We now live in the age of "Fake News" and the impact of Social Media spreading untruths, misconceptions, propaganda, and worse is only growing stronger and more pervasive with every passing year. The continuance and survival of our democracy relies on a competently informed public. This is why it is vital and unreservedly recommended that "Bias Is All Around You: A Handbook for Inspecting Social Media & News Stories" be included in every high school, community, college, and university library Media & Communications collection."
Reviewed by Daniel D Staats for Readers' Favorite "We are surrounded by bias. Everyone has a degree of prejudice, and their bias often comes out in their writing. Because bias can be hidden or disguised, Erik Bean has written Bias Is All Around You. Erik has developed the KLEMP method to assess the degree of bias in any given situation. Knowing a person’s bias can help us vet the usefulness of their writing. We must stop accepting what the media shoves at us at face value. It is high time we vet the information, throw away much of it, retain the little that seems true with the least amount of bias, and just what is worth sharing. Proper critical thinking cannot be rushed. Sharing information without thoroughly vetting it is irresponsible, risky, and wrong. The stakes are high, so we need to be sure what we share, read, and believe is valid.Thinking critically is what Erik Bean wants you to do to vet the media. He wants his readers to have the skills and tools to properly vet the information that bombards you daily. In Bias Is All Around You: A Handbook for Inspecting Social Media & News Stories, Erik has taken a complex concept and boiled it down to easy-to-use steps. With his KLEMP method and his myriad of questions found in the book, there is no excuse for anyone not being able to critically discern the value of any report. Erik’s style of writing is informative and concise. He desires to teach others how to analyze data so they can feel confident sharing information with others."
Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite "We live in a time where it is becoming increasingly strenuous to process and verify the barrage of sensationalized news and information thrown at us via faux news networks or through social media. Bias Is All Around You by Erik Bean is a much-needed handbook that empowers you with easy-to-use techniques to filter out such information. Bean provides a step-by-step set of guidelines that helps you to get to the truth. The steps include determining the source of information and verifying its authenticity. Afterward, it's important to dissect and analyze it by employing critical thinking to appraise and check the accuracy of said information. The author suggests a creative method called KLEMP, an acronym for Kairos, Logos, Ethos, Mythos, and Pathos, to assess the accuracy and inherent bias levels.Bias Is All Around You is certainly a relevant handbook, especially in this age of propaganda-based social media. Even scientific evidence is ignored to the extent that a deadly pandemic is called a hoax by a subset of the population. Author Erik Bean meticulously breaks down the steps needed to discern the inherent bias in any information floating around the internet and carve out the facts. The author utilizes the expertise of his journalistic background and, with the help of illustrator Gail Gorske, pens a concise handbook that doesn't waste a single inch of page space. Due to its length, it would make a perfect coffee table book. Anyone who feels distressed browsing social media or watching television should check out Bias Is All Around You."
Reviewed by Joe Wisinski for Readers' Favorite "Bias Is All Around You: A Handbook for Inspecting Social Media & News Stories was written to help readers understand that all information, including media content, is partial to one side or the other. Author Erik Bean warns of the dangers of not properly assessing informational bias. Those dangers include tarnishing your credibility and compromising your values. Bean also explains internet algorithms that affect the content people view. One chapter is titled “Understanding Fallacies,” and the author names ten common ones. He also provides an easy-to-use assessment tool to help readers discern what fallacies may exist. This is a scholarly work, including an extensive list of academic references. Gail Gorske illustrated the book. Full disclosure: the former president of the United States comes under some criticism.This book is badly needed in contemporary American society and culture. The ten fallacies the author names alone make Bias Is All Around You worth reading. We’ve heard people employ these ten fallacies, such as ad hominem, ad populum, and straw man, many times in the last few years. Author Erik Bean wisely warns of biases inherent in all major entities, even in those where there shouldn’t be, such as non-profits and government. Fans of the former president may not be pleased by the author calling out his behavior. But anyone who approaches this book with an open mind will gain much knowledge and insight into the bias that exists in all information. Even though the book is written as a scholarly work, it’s easy to understand the author’s points. I highly recommend this fine book."
Reviewed by Francis Mont for Readers' Favorite "Bias Is All Around You: A Handbook for Inspecting Social Media & News Stories by Erik Bean is an extremely important book that all people, especially those frequenting social media, should read. It is a real handbook with a down-to-earth presentation on how bias is created, how to recognize it, how to defend ourselves against it, and avoid becoming either victims or disseminators. It points out the dangerous consequences of unexamined ‘news’ items we pick up here and there. Particular emphasis is placed on critical thinking, and the book lists seven sources of misleading information that the reader must be aware of. Detailed instructions are included on how to test journalistic sources. My favorite chapter was the one about fallacies, in which ten typical forms of fallacies are listed and explained. The last chapter is a passionate plea for “A Renewed Call for Civil Discourse.” The book ends with many pages of references that are referred to all through the text. I also enjoyed the numerous illustrations and cover by Gail Gorske.As I started the review - "all people, especially those frequenting social media, should read” - I was aware of the desperate need in today’s world that has been called post-truth where unconscionable people attempt to create an alternate reality by abandoning the methodical scientific research that created the comfort of our lives here in the West. This attitude can lead to nothing but social disintegration and deteriorating mental health for its victims. However, the book goes way beyond preaching the danger facing us all by providing a blueprint for recognizing and defending ourselves against the ever-present danger of unconscious or deliberate biases. In the Appendix, there is a one-page summary and practical method for evaluating and scoring received information and finding out if it falls into one of the following categories: Very Low Bias; Low Bias; High Bias or Extreme Bias. It should take no more than a few minutes to fill in that scorecard for any piece of information coming our way, with full confidence that we did not miss considering anything important. I very highly recommend Bias Is All Around You by Erik Bean to all well-meaning citizens who want to navigate the jungle of misinformation we are surrounded with."
Reviewed by Sheena Monnin for Readers' Favorite "Bias Is All Around You by Erik Bean takes an educated look at the ways the human brain processes information and responds to messaging coming to us minute by minute. This book is a powerful resource with compelling examples and logical steps one can take to overcome and work through the various forms of bias that exist for each of us. The author begins with a compassionate look at why people are biased and some of the ways that bias can infiltrate our lives without us even being aware of it. Following up on that, the reader is then taken on a journey through the bias found in the nonprofit, for-profit, academic, news media, and other sectors. Presented in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-follow way, this book will challenge the reader to take a closer look at their sources of information and to think twice before declaring a ‘fact’ that may, indeed, be biased and lacking objectivity. Readers will view their resources with more care upon reading each chapter.Within the first few paragraphs, the reader will be impressed by the comprehensive nature of the ideas and information presented in Bias Is All Around You by Erik Bean. Most adults may not believe they are holding onto biases or that their interpretation of information is skewed in one direction or the other, but the reality is that most of us walk through life with unconscious biases that shape our worldview. Laden with well-supported and researched facts, this book challenged my thinking and positively impacted the way that my brain accepts and interprets facts, events, and the words of experts. The author lists his sources with transparency and presents his information kindly, allowing the reader to slowly become aware of their own biases at home, in the workplace, and in every other area of life. This book is an excellent resource to keep nearby and revisit time and again."
"...The book's final appeal for greater media literacy and civil discourse could not come at a more critical time, and the tools it presents are a first step toward achieving those goals. RECOMMENDED by the US Review"book review by David Hennessee
In Bias Is All Around You: A Handbook for Inspecting Social Media & News Stories, author Erik Bean, Ed.D. guides listeners through the social media sharing maze on how to separate fact from fiction to safeguard their mental health."Listen in for a chance to win a copy of this nifty handbook that shows you how to use the KLEMP method of assessing info before you share or post on social media." -- Emma Palova, Host, For the Love of Books Podcast
Readers' Favorite is proud to announce that "Bias Is All Around You" by Erik Bean won the 2022 Silver Medal in the Non-Fiction - Writing/Publishing category. The award that will be officially announced to Publisher's Weekly and in other news venues is the 2nd silver medallion the book has earned in 2022. Last spring the book took a silver in the Nautilus Book Awards contest that focuses on books that contribute to social causes and societal benefits.
You can learn more about Erik Bean and "Bias Is All Around You" at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/bias-is-all-around-you where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.
The Readers' Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities.
Readers' Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the "Best Websites for Authors" and "Honoring Excellence" awards from the Association of Independent Authors.
Rich talks with Professor Erik Bean about his new book, Bias Is All Around You: A Handbook for Inspecting Social Media & News Stories which is about how to authenticate any form of information for possible bias before its used and/or shared either online, or even in normal conversation.
Our Bias is All Around You book has won a Gold Medal for best academic/educational title, in the 2022 American Writing Awards compeition. The award follows two 2022 silver medallions from Nautilus Book Awards in young adult nonfiction and Readers' Favorite in writing/publishing. The 57 page beautifully illustrated nonprofit book that teaches everyone how to separate fact from fiction in any piece of information also was a 2021 quarter finalist in the Publisher's Weekly Booklife Prize Contest for nonfiction.
It is with pride and gratitude that our Bias Is All Around You book team, Sherry Wexler, editor, Gail Gorske, illustrator, and Erik Bean, author announce we have been granted a silver medallion in the 2022 Nautilus Book Awards, young adult nonfiction category. Bean said, "Sharing this prestigious award with the likes of Dr. Jane Goodall, Actress Cicely Tyson, and Astronaut Nicole Stott, among other notables, helps to demonstrate the quality of our important book and initiative to help all people learn better ways to separate fact from fiction." Dr. Bean maintains people are bombarded with marginalized information from algorithms as well as sharing false narratives and fallacies. "Our book, which also was a 2021 Booklife Prize Nonfiction Quarter Finalist, is unique in that it provides all the tools and tests needed to vet information bias in less than 60 pages," said Bean. "It's time we all strive to use information wisely with prudence and goodwill." The book will be on display at the 2022 New York Book Fair and 2022 American Library Association (ALA) June Conference in Washington, D.C.
Bias Is All Around You: A Handbook for Inspecting Social Media & News Stories was selected as one of six finalists in the 2021 American BookFest Annual Best Book Competition competing with hundreds of titles from traditional publishers to independent ones. Author Erik Bean said, "My team including Sherry Wexler, editor and Gail Gorske, illustrator, are so grateful to be selected as a finalist in the 2021 American Book Fest competition education category. Helping all people separate facts from fiction in all the information they are bombarded with daily is our number one priority."
Dr. Erik Bean, author of Bias Is All Around You: A Handbook for Inspecting Social Media & News Stories discusses with Ashish Garga, Toronto based Frame of Reference podcast host, the unique particulars that help people from all walks of lives diagnose any piece of information for bias. Are there different international perspectives on how people consume information? Do people in the West consume information differently than those in the East? This is just one insight that podcast host Garga and Bean discuss. Bean later said, "The popularity of helping people to detect information bias as an important media literacy topic of discussion is growing at a moderate pace. With the inflex of aggressive algorithms, fake news, false narratives, and misinformation, it should be everyone's mission to understand how we interact with information, how our own biases affect this interaction, and the tools the Bias Is All Around You handbook can offer to help determine the authenticity and objectivity of most any social media post and news story."
Erik Bean shares his knowledge on avoiding bias in research and how to detect it in social media & news stories with Rahul Jerome on his United Kingdom Audiense podcast series Data Stories