Media Bias in Presidential Election Coverage 1948-2008: Evaluation via Formal Measurement

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Lexington Books, Mar 22, 2012 - Political Science - 156 pages
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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Contents

Ch01 On the Nature of Media Bias
1
Ch02 Forces Acting on the News
19
Ch03 The Challenges of Measuring Bias
41
Ch04 Are The Media Biased?
59
Ch05 Myths and Realities of Coverage
75
Ch06 Conclusions Caveats and Ruminations
101
Appendix A
117
References
131
Index
141
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About the author (2012)

Dave D'Alessio is an associate professor of communication sciences at the Stamford regional campus of the University of Connecticut.

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