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Guest JMT

Does the Media Make Good News Look Bad?

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Guest JMT

prime examples of media bias. damn, im getting like Tech with these magna carta posts....

ill shorten it

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ECONOMIC VIEW

By EDUARDO PORTER

Published: September 12, 2004

Conservative pundits routinely accuse the news media of injecting a liberal bias into coverage of issues from gun control to gay marriage.

Now, two months before the presidential election, the economy has been invited to the culture wars. In a new paper, Kevin A. Hassett and John R. Lott Jr., economists at the American Enterprise Institute, the conservative research organization in Washington, say they have discovered that economic reporters commit the same archetypal sin: slanting the news unequivocally in favor of the Democrats.

How can a nugget of news like the economy's addition of 308,000 new jobs in March - the biggest monthly gain in about four years - yield a report that The Associated Press labeled "Bond prices tumble on jobs data"? Bias, the researchers suspected.

The two economists combed through 389 newspapers and A.P. reports contained in the LexisNexis database from January 1991 through May 2004, during the administrations of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. They picked out headlines about gross domestic product growth, unemployment, retail sales and orders of durable goods and classified the headlines' depiction of the economy as either positive, negative, neutral or mixed. Then they crunched some numbers.

They found that Mr. Clinton received better headlines than the two Republican presidents. Even after adjusting the data to compensate for differences in economic performance under the three presidents, the Republicans received 20 to 30 percent fewer positive headlines, on average, for the same type of news, they concluded.

For instance, they said, the unemployment rate in the Clinton administration averaged 5.2 percent, only three-tenths of a percentage point less than it has under George W. Bush. But while 44 percent of Mr. Clinton's headlines on unemployment were positive, only 23 percent of President Bush's headlines on the subject have been upbeat.

They found that as a group, the nation's 10 largest newspapers and The Associated Press were even more skewed. According to the researchers, this group gave Republican administrations 20 to 40 percent fewer positive headlines than those given to Mr. Clinton, on average. Among the top 10 newspapers, they said that all except The Houston Chronicle had a pro-Democratic leaning, though the margin for error in their calculations was too large to be meaningful for most of them individually.

"We have not constructed tests that identify a motive for the bias," Mr. Hassett said. "A desire to aid the political fortunes of Democrats could explain the patterns we see in the data." The research has attracted some interest outside of conservative circles. Christopher D. Carroll, an economist at Johns Hopkins University who served on Mr. Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, said the paper by Mr. Hassett and Mr. Lott was "the first serious statistical attempt to look at the question that I've seen."

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Guest LeVeL

They always do..in my mind Channel 7 news is the biggest one doing this from all the local news...they seem to make a negative about any type of news.

Just think about it, if the news consisted of positive issues the people wouldn't watch but since there are so many negative things going on in the world we tend to watch becuase its entertaining.

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The educated amongst our generation has become increasingly skeptical of everything we hear, watch, and see.

I pretty much don't believe anything I see in the media because I always assume there is some spin to it for some purpose.

Wag the dog baby...

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Guest macboy

damn, im getting like Tech with these magna carta posts....

It's just nice to see you post stuff other than Britney Spears gossip. :P

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