Trivia Tidbit Of The Day — MEDIA BIAS.

Over at WILLisms.com, I have a daily feature I call the “Trivia Tidbit Of The Day (today’s: stock ownership).” It’s not the best name for the series, as most are not exactly trivial, and many are not even tidbits at all.

But I digress.

In past trivia tidbits, I’ve noted the studies conducted by the non-partisan Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) on media bias [“Presidential Campaign Coverage Since 1984“; “Media Coverage Of Reagan vs. Gorbachev“; “Media Bias On Social Security“].

Well, the CMPA has analyzed the media coverage of President Bush’s first 100 days of his second term. Unsurprisingly, network media coverage of the Commander-in-Chief was overwhelmingly negative (.pdf):

mediabias.jpg

Other findings from the study (.pdf):

* Overall, 67% of network coverage of the President was negative.
* Four years ago, Bush’s negative coverage was 71%.
* In Clinton’s first 100 days in 1993, negative coverage was 59%.

There was also less coverage of President Bush than before:

* 619 stories about President Bush in 2001.
* 250 stories about President Bush in 2005 (a decline of 40%).

On the issues:

* Foreign policy coverage = 58% negative.
* Domestic policy coverage = 77% negative.
* Social Security reform coverage = 78% negative.
* Iraq coverage = 71% negative.

Inevitably, this kind of exercise has a degree of error and subjectivity, but read the methodology of the CMPA before dismissing their findings. They use a research tool called “reliability,” which simply means that individuals must come to the same conclusions, independently, based on an objective set of criteria. It’s actually far less subjective than you might imagine.

The Washington Times has more on the network negativity.

Will Franklin biases the media at WILLisms.com.

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8 Comments

  1. Fran July 11, 2005
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