Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oho! There's no liberal media bias you say?

The Project for Excellence in Journalism has a report out regarding bias in the media, and the results are no surprise to conservatives: media are biased toward liberals. The only surprise will be to see which approach is taken to explain or defend the result by the liberals. Ad hominem attack? Disregard the facts? Pretend the report never happened? Or just dismiss the whole thing as 'vague' and 'irrelevant.' We will see. Here are the facts:

NEWSPAPERS: The front page coverage of the 13 newspapers studied here tended to portray a more extreme version of the overall press treatment of both McCain and Obama. Coverage was more critical of John McCain and more favorable toward Barack Obama than the media overall.

Overall, 57% of stories about McCain were negative, compared to only 29% of stories for Obama.

Delving into specifics, newspapers covered McCain negatively 69% of the time but were negative toward Obama only 28% of the time.

For television-

NBC: 54% McCain negative coverage
21% Obama negative coverage

MSNBC: an embarrassing 73% negative McCain coverage
a mortifying 14% negative toward Obama

The report found Fox news coverage even split between negative stories of Obama and McCain, 40% for each.

More from the report:

In the 2008 election season, MSNBC, the perennial third-place finisher in the cable news ratings race, unveiled a new approach—positioning itself in prime time as a leftward-leaning analog to the Fox News Channel. That personality became arguably even clearer in the general election season with the arrival of Air America radio talk show host Rachel Maddow as anchor of the 9 p.m. program following Keith Olbermann.

The editorial approach is manifest beyond just who is sitting in the anchor chair or getting the last word. When it comes to the tone of the segments and stories about candidates overall, MSNBC was more favorable and, even more clearly, less critical of Barack Obama than the press generally. It was also clearly more negative about both John McCain and Sarah Palin. In all, only 14% of stories studied about Obama on MSNBC carried a clearly negative tone, less than half the total in the media generally (29%). The percentage of positive stories on MSNBC about Obama, 43%,

Conversely, McCain’s coverage was more critical on MSNBC than in the press overall, not to mention any other cable news outlet. Fully 73% of the McCain stories were negative compared with 57% in the press generally.


Christie said...

In light of this post, I invite you to check out this short piece from Slate:

Elizabeth Prata said...

I did and it is an ad hominem attack on the four professional and respected journalists who were discussing the issue. Slate did not mention the Project for Excellence in Journalism, the results, the issue but instead created a snide and snarky attack on the mental capacities of the men who were discussing the fact that liberal bias exists, a fact which is shown in the scientific study the PEJ has just concluded.

It is my position, and also many others' that the devastating decline in almost all newspapers' revenues is that the center-conservative country that is America is tired of NOT seeing their point of view reflected in the discussion. That the newspapers should just present the issues and leave out the attacks, snideness, rudeness, and dismissiveness and just stick to covering the issues, another item the PEJ revealed. Media is focused on the horse race 73% of the time, and policy coverage: 14%

The public is fed up with a media that does not do its job and the declining revenues is the result. The people have spoken, in true capitalist form!