Media Bias in Presidential Election Coverage 1948-2008: Evaluation via Formal Measurement
Accusations of partisan bias in Presidential election coverage are suspect at best and self-serving at worst. They are generally supported by the methodology of instance confirmation, tainted by the hostile media effect, and based on simplistic visions of how the news media are organized. Media Bias in Presidential Election Coverage 1948-2008 by Dave D’Alessio, is a revealing analysis that shows the news media have four essential natures: as journalistic entities, businesses, political actors, and property, all of which can act to create news coverage biases, in some cases in opposing directions. By meta-analyzing the results of 99 previous examinations of media coverage of Presidential elections from 1948 to 2008, D’Alessio reveals that coverage has no aggregate partisan bias either way, even though there are small biases in specific realms that are generally insubstantial. Furthermore, while publishers used to control coverage preferences, this practice has become negligible in recent years. Media Bias proves that, at least in terms of Presidential election coverage, The New York Times is not the most liberal paper in America and the Fox News channel is substantially more conservative in news coverage than the broadcast networks. Finally, Media Bias in Presidential Election Coverage 1948-2008 predicts that no amount of evidence will cause political candidates to cease complaining about bias because such accusations have both strategic potential in campaigns and an undeniable utility in ego defense.
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2008 presidential election aggregate associated Benoit et biased broadcast campaign coverage chapter CMPA conclusion conservative consider content analysis coverage of presidential critical D’Alessio deﬁned deﬁnition Democratic economic Editor & Publisher editorial endorsement entities examined fact Fairness Doctrine favor ﬁnal ﬁndings ﬁrst Fox News channel hostile media effect ideological inﬂuence instance Journalism Quarterly journalistic liberal measured media bias media content media coverage media industries media outlets meta-analysis nature newsmagazines newspapers Nixon NP Valence/Num NP Volume/Amt NP Volume/Num NP Volume/Photo number of studies overall owners ownership papers partisan bias party percent political position potential preferences president presidential campaign presidential candidates presidential election campaigns Prestige Press privately pro-Democratic pro-incumbency pro-Republican proﬁt publicly question reason reﬂect reporters Richard Nixon selection bias simply speciﬁc statistically signiﬁcant Stempel stories television tion tone TV network TV Valence types of bias unbiased users valence of coverage Vavreck voting Windhauser York