Binary narratives have long been employed by journalists as a storytelling device to present the news and package stories. Binaries are organised around oppositions - good and evil, freedom, tyranny, secular vs religious.

Binary oppositions are everywhere to be seen in news reporting... News reporting is about conflicts, and therefore it is often about binary oppositions.

Paulo Gerbaudo, media scholar

The common element in these binary narratives is they tend to privilege one group or term over another - creating a hierarchy of value.

Often the mainstream media merely reinforce binaries offered up by the dominant political discourse - George W Bush's post-9/11 speech, that idea - that "you're either with us or against us" - grew into one of the biggest binaries of them all - the so-called global war on terror.

But what gets lost when these types of binaries are employed? 

The Listening Post's Marcela Pizarro takes a look at how the language of binaries often shapes news stories, how those stories construct our world views - and what those narratives exclude.

Source: Al Jazeera