Media Bias?

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Media Bias? addresses the question: To what extent can mainstream news media be characterized as 'conservative' or 'liberal'? The study involves a systematic comparative analysis of the coverage given to major domestic social issues from 1975 to 2000 by two mainstream newsmagazines, Newsweek and Time, and two explicitly partisan publications, the conservative National Review and the liberal Progressive. Working from the idea that some biased accounts of social issues can perform several positive functions for the maintenance and vitality of political democracy, Adkins Covert and Wasburn offer a new methodology for analyzing bias empirically, one that is capable of producing valid and reliable findings. They begin by defining the meaning of 'bias' and discuss possible methods of measuring media bias empirically and systematically. By comparing each publication's coverage on poverty, crime, the environment, and gender-issues in which the line between the conservative and liberal positions are clearly delineated-the authors consider both the positive and negative consequences of media bias and how the bias plays out within a media-conscious democratic society.

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Editorial Reviews

Robert Entman
This careful study is one of a handful that truly takes an 'unbiased' empirical approach to measuring bias in national news outlets. It persuasively refutes simplistic accusations of journalistic bias and points the way toward greater understanding of the media's role in shaping public opinion.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Tawnya J. Adkins Covert is associate professor of sociology at Western Illinois University. Philo C. Wasburn is professor of sociology at Purdue University.

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Table of Contents

1 Table of Contents Chapter 2 Introduction Chapter 3 1. The Media Bias Debate Chapter 4 2. Mainstream and Partisan Newsmagazines Chapter 5 3. Measuring Media Bias Chapter 6 4. Comparing Time, Newsweek, the National Review, and the Progressive Coverage of Selected Social Issues, 1975-2000 Chapter 7 5. The Use of Information Sources in Partisan Publications Chapter 8 6. Does Historical Context Influence Media Bias? Chapter 9 7. Have our Media Been Serving Democracy in their Coverage of Domestic Social Issues? Chapter 10 Bibliography 11 Index 12 About the Authors

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