Thursday, September 6, 2007

Is there bias in the mainstream media?

Some say that mainstream media has a bias favoring liberal, Democratic or progressive politics. They cite statistics from polling which shows that the majority of newspaper and electronic media reporters are themselves somewhat liberal. But reporters alone do not determine what is actually published or broadcast over the media. Those reporter's bosses, editors, and managers are actually more likely to be more conservative and support Republican politicians. And owners of the media and the higher management of these vast corporations that own the media outlets are much more likely to be conservative. Rupert Murdock, the owner of Fox News and hundreds of television outlets, newspapers, and radio stations, is relentlessly conservative, donates heavily to conservative politicians all over the world and promotes conservative ideas through many of his holdings. As we experience more media consolidation, media tends to grow more conservative, not wanting to risk annoying corporate advertisers or damage even slightly other corporate holdings.

If there is a media bias, it is more in the decisions as to what is deemed worth reporting. As we saw in todays' Los Angeles Times print edition and online version, among other things, something gets reported if it involves:
-conflict (U.S. tip led to German terror plot arrests)
-happens to celebrities (Paris Hilton, US Senator Craig)
-is about sex (Sex, violence cram TV's 'family hour,' study says)