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A Multidimensional Approach to the Study of Media Effects
Unformatted Document Text:  24 the candidate hopes to produce an effect that does not need to endure past election day. The effect may take time to occur but it only needs to be short-lived. Work by Golding (1981) represents a second example where connecting two dimensions of media effects into a simple matrix led to theoretically promising proposals. Golding considered how two major media effects dimensions might be related in a way that leads to a better understanding of media bias. He observed that many people have been concerned about the possibilities of such bias, believing the media give a particular slant to some or all of their reports. In other words, media coverage distorts reality. For example, proponents of a protest rally may accuse the media of belittling their activities, making it appear that fewer people were present than “really” were, highlighting extremist activities while ignoring what “really” happened, and so forth. Opponents of the protest might, as the same time, accuse the media of doing the opposite, of promoting the protest, making it appear that more people were present than “really” were, and so forth. It is not uncommon for editors to receive letters from those on opposite sides of an issue telling them that the same story was biased against their side. Some editors take solace when this happens, figuring that if both sides are complaining of bias then neither side can be correct. Some even make a point of printing one letter to the editor accusing the newspaper of bias on one side, and follow that letter with another from the opposite camp, accusing the newspaper of bias against its side. Golding raised interesting points about media bias by considering the connections between the intention and time dimensions. He observed that much concern about media bias relates to a particular story presented today. “Dear Editor: That story you ran about

Authors: Lasorsa, Dominic.
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the candidate hopes to produce an effect that does not need to endure past election day.
The effect may take time to occur but it only needs to be short-lived.
Work by Golding (1981) represents a second example where connecting two
dimensions of media effects into a simple matrix led to theoretically promising proposals.
Golding considered how two major media effects dimensions might be related in a way
that leads to a better understanding of media bias. He observed that many people have
been concerned about the possibilities of such bias, believing the media give a particular
slant to some or all of their reports. In other words, media coverage distorts reality.
For example, proponents of a protest rally may accuse the media of belittling their
activities, making it appear that fewer people were present than “really” were,
highlighting extremist activities while ignoring what “really” happened, and so forth.
Opponents of the protest might, as the same time, accuse the media of doing the opposite,
of promoting the protest, making it appear that more people were present than “really”
were, and so forth.
It is not uncommon for editors to receive letters from those on opposite sides of an
issue telling them that the same story was biased against their side. Some editors take
solace when this happens, figuring that if both sides are complaining of bias then neither
side can be correct. Some even make a point of printing one letter to the editor accusing
the newspaper of bias on one side, and follow that letter with another from the opposite
camp, accusing the newspaper of bias against its side.
Golding raised interesting points about media bias by considering the connections
between the intention and time dimensions. He observed that much concern about media
bias relates to a particular story presented today. “Dear Editor: That story you ran about


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