Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Oh, that mainstream media!

From the Media Research Center:

The federal deficit is shrinking, unemployment has fallen, and America has seen more than two straight years of job growth. But broadcasters have been describing the economy as “dicey,” “volatile” and “slow.” A Free Market Project analysis of economic stories on network evening news shows since President George W. Bush’s second inauguration showed negative news prevailing 62 percent of the time (71 out of 115 stories). That number was deceiving, however, because even good news often was portrayed as bad. In 40 stories classified as good economic news, journalists undermined the good news with bad 45 percent of the time.

Good news was relegated to short reports, or briefs, 68 percent of the time, while bad news was treated with full stories. When briefs on both sides were excluded, the comparison of full-length news stories showed an overwhelming ratio: negative stories outnumbered positive ones almost 4-to-1.

And from a research paper, entitled, "Is Newspaper Coverage of Economic Events Politically Biased?":

When GDP growth is reported, Republicans received between 16 and 24 percentage point fewer positive stories for the same economic numbers than Democrats. For durable goods for all newspapers, Republicans received between 15 and 25 percentage points fewer positive news stories than Democrats. For unemployment, the difference was between zero and 21 percentage points. Retail sales showed no difference. Among the Associated Press and the top 10 papers, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, and New York Times tend to be the least likely to report positive news during Republican administrations, while the Houston Chronicle slightly favors Republicans. Only one newspaper treated one Republican administration significantly more positively than the Clinton administration: the Los Angeles Times' headlines were most favorable to the Reagan administration, but it still favored Clinton over either Bush administration.


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