The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, June 18, 2004

Media bias again

Jay Rosen addresses the two Pew studies on media bias and public trust in the media [1] and the bloviations of LA Times editor John Carroll [2] - and, not for the first time, thought-provokingly comes to no particular conclusion.

One of his commenters mentions a 2003 study A Measure of Media Bias - whose distinctive MO is to measure the ratio of the number of liberal and conservative think tanks a news outlet mentions, and compare that ratio with that of mentions by members of Congress.

Liberal bias is found!

(My lack of interest in such studies stem from their inherent (and, so far as I can see, intrinsically counterfactual) assumption that there are circumstances under which one could have unbiased reporting. And from the further assumption that this would be A Good Thing [3] - rather than an encouragement to laziness and surrender of autonomy amongst readers.

The sooner expectations of the news consumer - or (being realistic) a vanguard tranche of news consumers - move from the TV model - couch potato, participation limited to flicking channels - to the net model - content largely edited by the consumer himself [4] - the better.)

  1. Various pieces on both here - search on Pew.

  2. Piece of May 12.

  3. Sellars and Yeatman.

  4. There should be ergonomic studies of just how much action is required to get news from the net.

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