New Media Political Bias Essay

2238 words - 9 pages

National News Media are Largely Liberal in Political Bias

11/21/2011

Abstract
The media provides the American people with information. This information is used by the citizens to make decisions and often to take actions. Because the media is the source of information for most American citizens, it is important to understand the techniques media outlets use in an attempt to bias their audience. The most common techniques that attempt to bend the public to a given point of view are use of statistics and counts, tone and diction, and more frequently, omission.

National News Media are Largely Liberal in Political Bias
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Of course, just because a journalist has liberal or conservative views, does not mean that his or her reporting will be slanted. One thought is that reporters may respond to the likes and dislikes of the people that pay their salaries. Writers such as Clarence Page expressed concern that cynicism has created its own type of bias against anyone who offers a solution. He charges that reporters will often favor simplicity, persons (versus institutional processes), emotions (versus facts) and game (versus substance) when reporting on a story. In general, journalists, when asked, deny the accusations of bias, but most admit to being liberal. Most liberal journalists insist they report the news with no bias and stay neutral when reporting news and facts.
Another critic of the claim of liberal bias is the charge that current political Republican Presidential candidates receive gentler treatment from the press than do Democratic candidates. The thought is that because most journalists are moderate or liberal, then they try to offset their natural biases by going out of their way to be fair to conservatives. Reporters feel a social breakdown between themselves and the conservative candidates and their relations stay formal and polite. (Groseclose & Milyo, 2004) They are more comfortable with Democratic candidates and respond much less formal and loose. This causes a degree of guilt of not being fair to the Republican candidate and they over-compensate.
There are lots of surveys, questionnaires, demographic studies, etc. that have been compiled on the subject of media bias. You can find statistics and data that will support either side of the debate depending on what point you want to prove. However, according to Tim Groseclose, the majority of the American people feel the media has a liberal bias. One research group considered to be highly credible and impartial in their approach is the research project, “A Measure of Media Bias” conducted by Tim Groseclose, Department of Political Science at UCLA and Jeff Milyo, Department of Economics at University of Missouri, conducted in 2004. Basically, the study developed a measure for scoring the major media outlets and all three network television news shows. The researchers counted the times that a media outlet referred to various think tanks and other policy groups. Then they compared this with the times that members of Congress referred to the same think tanks in their speeches on the floor of the House and Senate. The results showed a strong liberal bias among media. All of the news outlets, except Fox News Special Report and the Washington Times, received a score to the left of the average member of Congress. CBS Evening News and the New York Times received a score far left of center. Outlets such as the Washington Post, USA Today, NPR’s Morning Edition, NBC’s Nightly News and ABC’s World News Tonight were moderately left.
Another poll often cited is that taken by the Freedom...

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