So, the question seems to be, “Is the media biased?” OK, I have my opinion, as I assume everyone reading the RNL has theirs. So rather than arguing on opinion, I thought I might take time to look up a few sites that have actually spent a great deal of time on this issue. Here’s a little of what I found. I hope you’ll find it useful. Starting with:
The Media Bias Page
“Political bias may be impossible to avoid in today’s style of fast-paced 24-hour news coverage. News programs today are apparently designed to retain the attention of hyperactive and impatient viewers — people with dozens of other channels from which to choose, and a remote control always nearby. (Forty years ago, when you had to get up and walk across the room to change the channel, people generally stuck with a program for its duration.) You’ll rarely see a news story these days, especially during ratings periods, in which a single camera shot lasts more than three seconds. On a normal day, almost every story is told in less than two minutes. This results in a great loss of detail, and that’s where the TV reporter’s personal bias comes into play: he or she decides what parts of a story to include or omit.
As media bias becomes more widespread, it becomes self-perpetuating, just like big government. The “legacy” news media are now controlled by Democrats, so now when a Republican runs for President, he or she must run against the Democrat Party candidate and against the news media.”
The conclusions drawn by the author of this page seem to be supported by a poll conducted by Journalism.org in which they asked reporters to identify their Party affiliation. The following is a chart generated using the information from this poll.
The American Journalist
Politics and Party Affiliation
October 6, 2006
As you can see, the reporters, themselves, indicate that they lean to the left while the majority of America tends to lean to the right. As the author of the first link points out, in a time when the personal biases of the individual reporter are magnified by the reduced time given to any story, this data would seem to suggest the resulting bias is inevitably going to slant left.
Further surfing found this site, which, given the general consensus that FOX news is slanted to the right, appears to support the information above. The ratings indicate the people show a decided preference for FOX, yet it remains the only cable news channel which is not considered to slant left. So, in terms of the number of left/right cable news channels, the bias would appear to be to the left yet again. It would also suggest the majority of the media shows no concern for the financial aspects of the market as it is producing a product that the majority of Americans clearly do not prefer:
Next, I found this site and page:
This is from the first link on that page (a very interesting study):
“Surveys over the past 25 years have consistently found that journalists are much more
liberal than rest of America. The Media Research Center has compiled the relevant
data on journalist attitudes, as well as polling showing how the American public’s recognition of the media’s liberal bias has grown over the years.”
Then I found this site, which discusses the result of a study that was conducted by a professor at UCLA:
“I suspected that many media outlets would tilt to the left because surveys have shown that reporters tend to vote more Democrat than Republican,” said Tim Groseclose, a UCLA political scientist and the study’s lead author. “But I was surprised at just how pronounced the distinctions are.”
So it seems the debate as to whether or not the “legacy” media is biased isn’t really a debate at all: it is pretty much a fact that those on the left wish to deny because they do not want to admit or cannot accept that they are not in the majority opinion in this nation. That leaves us to figure out how to identify bias when we see it so as to be able to better guard against it. Looking for information on identifying bias in the media quickly yielded this site:
Excerpts From “How to Identify, Expose and Correct Liberal Media Bias”
by the MRC’s Brent Baker
“Sometimes liberal bias reflects a conscious choice by the reporter or editor. Sometimes it stems from mere laziness; it can take a lot of work to produce balanced news stories on a consistent basis. And a reporter under deadline pressure may just not understand the conservative viewpoint well enough to explain it in his story. So if the conservative expert he called doesn’t call back in time, that perspective won’t make it into the story.
But none of these are valid excuses. A reporter’s job is to present a balanced story. (Of course, the reporter who tries but fails because he’s just so rushed and can’t get a conservative to comment deserves more understanding from you than the reporter who never bothers to call a conservative and regularly writes or broadcasts biased stories.)”
Finally, having concluded with reasonable certainty that a left leaning bias in the MSM is an accepted fact among all objective observers, and having identified methods by which we can spot and evaluate said bias, I thought I’d present you with a site that purports to list the top 50 examples of liberal media bias:
And there you have it: proof that the media is biased to the left, that its reporting does not seem to be connected to financial considerations; a lesson on how to spot bias in the media and a list of the top 50 examples of said bias – all in one easy post. Enjoy!