Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

Michael Dodge


In an ideal world, scientific research and news would be published and reported through non-bias outlets and readers would view those sources favorably. However, that is an unrealistic expectation of our current society in which many believe that any publication will contain some bias. This thesis aimed to discover three factors on the topic. One was to see whether members of the space community view various news sources as biased, and to what degree they do if so. The second factor was to see how the general public viewed those same sources. These data were then used to compare the opinions of the two groups to each other. The third factor was to determine whether interjecting a perception of bias influences how trustworthy and informative the reader rates news articles. To be clear, it was not the intent of this thesis to research whether or not media bias exists. Rather, the goals were to identify trusted news sources in each community, and to identify whether the perception of bias can influence a reader’s interpretation of the news. Consequently, while there is some tangential discussion on media bias, the overall aim of this thesis was to identify and quantify bias perceptions of respective communities. It was ultimately discovered that the space community and the general public share the same views on media sources. Most notably, that Science Journals and Science Blogs are the most trustworthy science news sources and that Social Media and YouTube are the least. Additionally, interjecting a perception of bias had no significant impact on the readers interpretation of the space news articles they read. Looking forward, there are several follow-on studies that could be done, but the most notable would be to a similar study that used a true random sample.