A Study on Media Bias

by on June 22nd, 2004

The topic of media bias evokes instant polarization in most conversations. To the average citizen, bias in all of its forms is obvious, but the real question is whether or not the bias is systemic or incidental. Recently, UCLA and Stanford teamed up to do a scientific study of media bias and came up with some interesting results.

Among them: That the Drudge Report’s coverage of events is much closer to the center than most media outlets and that there does exist an actual, quantifiable slant in the media. The study also provides some interesting measures of the personal political bias of various think thanks, politicians, and assorted organizations. All in all, it is a valuable read.

The study is limited, and much of it centers on the how often news organizations and media outlets use statistics from various thinktanks with noted slants to back up news stories. Does one news source heavily use conservative thinktanks while ignoring liberal thinktanks? Does another news source exclusively use figures produced by liberal research groups while ignoring conservative research organizations?

Although this kind of research is sure to cause even more controversy, it will be interesting to see how much coverage the research gets in the national press. As a friend of outing the truth, even when the truth is not pleasant, I would urge readers to fully read the research summary before forming an opinion. The full text of the research can be found via this link.

Damon Dimmick