Admittedly Conservative Talk Radio is More Fair than So-Called Unbiased Main Stream Media

I recently read a very interesting study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Harvard University called A First Look at Coverage of the 2008 Presidential Campaign. The study looked at the political leanings of different media outlets including Network Television, Cable News, Internet, Talk Radio and Newspapers.

Here are some of their overall findings:

  • “A new poll by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press conducted for this report finds that about eight-in-ten of Americans say they want more coverage of the candidates’ stances on issues
  • Yet, “just 1% of stories examined the candidates’ records or past public performance, the study found”
  • “Just 12% of stories examined were presented in a way that explained how citizens might be affected by the election, while nearly nine-out-of-ten stories (86%) focused on matters that largely impacted only the parties and the candidates.”
  • “Democrats generally got more coverage than Republicans, (49% of stories vs. 31%.)”
  • “Overall, Democrats also have received more positive coverage than Republicans (35% of stories vs. 26%),”
  • “Republicans received more negative coverage than Democrats (35% vs. 26%).”Now, taking the data in this study, I did my own analysis and the findings were quite informative. Just take a look at the chart below.

  • Coverage of Republicans is slanted to the negative in every outlet except talk radio and NPR.
  • Coverage of Democrats is slanted to positive in every outlet except PBS and talk radio.
  • Talk radio gives Republicans the fairest treatment of all outlets with roughly equal positive and negative stories.
  • Cable news give Democrats the fairest treatment though they still favor slightly more positive than negative stories.
  • NPR tends to lean toward positive stories for both Republicans and Democrats, but of their negative stories, Republicans get the greater share
  • Newspapers and Network TV News lean heavily to the left, reporting mostly positive about Democrats and mostly negative about Republicans
  • The most amazing thing about this study is how it shows that Talk Radio, which openly admits to lean Conservative/Republican, is much more fair in their reporting than other media sources which claim to be unbiased.

    1 reply
    1. Amy D.
      Amy D. says:

      It’s been awhile since I checked your blog, Jimmy and I thought this was really interesting. And a little surprising. Confirms what we have thought about mainstream media, and showed that NPR does better than we suspected.

      Reply

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