Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Media matters - or maybe not 

Another media study finds skewed media coverage:

"A new study for the non-partisan Project for Excellence in Journalism suggests that in the first two weeks of October, during the period of the presidential debates, George W. Bush received much more unfavorable media coverage than Sen. John Kerry."
The study analysed coverage of "The New York Times," "Washington Post," "Miami Herald" and the Columbus (Ohio) "Dispatch," the cable channels CNN and Fox (focusing on two programs: the Aaron Brown and Brit Hume evening shows), as well as the PBS NewsHour and the three morning shows and three evening news programs on CBS, NBC and ABC. In all, 817 stories were assessed. This is the result:

"59% of stories that were mainly about Bush told a mainly negative story, while 25% of Kerry stories played out that way. One in three stories about Kerry were positive, one in seven for Bush."
"Editor & Publisher" notes that this result might not necessarily indicate political bias, as in the run-up to the 2000 election these proportions were reversed in Bush's favor.

Meanwhile, in the newspaper endorsement stakes - a game, which arguably doesn't impact on the result but can certainly excite political junkies (like this
breathless analysis: "FLORIDA: Bush is in big trouble here, at least if newspapers have any sway. Every single large paper has gone for Kerry, with the Orlando and Bradenton papers abandoning Bush and The Tampa Tribune (formerly for Dubya) sitting it out. This is how bad it is for the president: As far we know, his two biggest Sunshine State catches so far are the Ocala Star-Banner and The Ledger in Lakeland. So let's give this state to Kerry. In fact, if Bush pulls this one out, ["Editor & Publisher"] promises never to give any weight to editorial endorsements in the future.") here's the latest tally:

"Kerry now leads in endorsements 142 to 123 and in the circulation of those papers (roughly 17.5 million to 11.5 million)."
And across the Atlantic comes this chastising from British public media honcho:

"BBC World Service and Global News director Richard Sambrook... took the U.S. news nets to task on their own turf for 'wrapping themselves in the flag' and not asking the tough questions about the Bush administration's reasons for going to war in Iraq.

"Sambrook, speaking at Columbia U.'s Graduate School of Journalism, warned that such perceived partisanship of the news media may be playing a part in exposing journalists covering Iraq and other trouble spots around the globe to danger."
It seems that Sambrook doesn't actually follow the American media, and thinks that jihadis don't either.


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