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Revisiting the "Liberal Media Bias":A Quantitative Study into Candidate Treatment by theBroadcast Media During the 2004 Presidential Election Campaign

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Abstract:

Over recent decades, the alleged ‘liberal media bias’ in the U.S. has become the subject of political arguments, punditry, public perception and academic debates. The purpose of this paper is not to prove or disprove the allegation of bias (which remains inherently impossible). Instead, the intention is to add something new and valuable to ongoing academic discourse by providing three crucial innovations in research design. First, our quantitative analysis of media coverage during the 2004 presidential election is unprecedented in its data quality, with regard to both richness and precision of our estimates. Second, the inclusion of campaign data allows relating media coverage to the actual content of the Bush and Kerry campaigns. And third, the U.S. analysis is part of a comparative, cross-country study of election campaigns, which means that we can put our findings about partisan bias in perspective, contrasting it with patterns of media coverage in countries like the UK and Ireland (see Brandenburg 2005, 2006a).
The first part of the paper summarizes how the liberal bias hypothesis developed, within and outside academia, and how it caught the imagination of the American public. Part two outlines the aims, objectives and the scope of the current study, and introduces the method of data collection and coding. Part three presents with preliminary findings, where it should be noted that this is a report from an ongoing process, using a sample of the collected campaign material, and at this stage focussing exclusively on the question of bias in television news coverage. In the final part we draw some necessarily tentative conclusions about the state of campaign coverage in the U.S. during the 2004 campaign, contrasting these findings against similar studies from the UK and Ireland.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

bias (141), campaign (101), news (95), media (95), kerri (63), bush (55), coverag (45), liber (44), parti (42), polit (37), candid (36), fox (36), code (32), interview (31), report (30), refer (30), mean (30), studi (28), use (27), issu (27), negat (27),

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Liberal bias, US election, journalism, campaign
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Name: American Political Science Association
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http://www.apsanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Brandenburg, Heinz. "Revisiting the "Liberal Media Bias":A Quantitative Study into Candidate Treatment by theBroadcast Media During the 2004 Presidential Election Campaign" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott, Loews Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 31, 2006 <Not Available>. 2013-12-16 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p152515_index.html>

APA Citation:

Brandenburg, H. , 2006-08-31 "Revisiting the "Liberal Media Bias":A Quantitative Study into Candidate Treatment by theBroadcast Media During the 2004 Presidential Election Campaign" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott, Loews Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA Online <PDF>. 2013-12-16 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p152515_index.html

Publication Type: Proceeding
Abstract: Over recent decades, the alleged ‘liberal media bias’ in the U.S. has become the subject of political arguments, punditry, public perception and academic debates. The purpose of this paper is not to prove or disprove the allegation of bias (which remains inherently impossible). Instead, the intention is to add something new and valuable to ongoing academic discourse by providing three crucial innovations in research design. First, our quantitative analysis of media coverage during the 2004 presidential election is unprecedented in its data quality, with regard to both richness and precision of our estimates. Second, the inclusion of campaign data allows relating media coverage to the actual content of the Bush and Kerry campaigns. And third, the U.S. analysis is part of a comparative, cross-country study of election campaigns, which means that we can put our findings about partisan bias in perspective, contrasting it with patterns of media coverage in countries like the UK and Ireland (see Brandenburg 2005, 2006a).
The first part of the paper summarizes how the liberal bias hypothesis developed, within and outside academia, and how it caught the imagination of the American public. Part two outlines the aims, objectives and the scope of the current study, and introduces the method of data collection and coding. Part three presents with preliminary findings, where it should be noted that this is a report from an ongoing process, using a sample of the collected campaign material, and at this stage focussing exclusively on the question of bias in television news coverage. In the final part we draw some necessarily tentative conclusions about the state of campaign coverage in the U.S. during the 2004 campaign, contrasting these findings against similar studies from the UK and Ireland.

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Associated Document Available American Political Science Association

Document Type: PDF
Page count: 23
Word count: 8798
Text sample:
Revisiting the “Liberal Media Bias”: A Quantitative Study into Candidate Treatment by the Broadcast Media during the 2004 Presidential Election Campaign Heinz Brandenburg University of Aberdeen Department of Politics and International Relations Edward Wright Building Dunbar Street Aberdeen AB24 3QY United Kingdom Phone: +44 (0)1224 27 2179 Fax: +44 (0)1224 27 2552 E-mail: h.brandenburg@abdn.ac.uk Paper prepared for presentation at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in Philadelphia 31 August – 3 September 1 Over recent
149-70 Shoemaker P. and S. Reese (1996) Mediating the Message: Theories of Influences on Mass Media Content. New York: Longman Splichal S. (2002) ‘The principle of publicity public use of reason and social control’ Media Culture & Society 24(1): pp. 5-26 Vallone R. L. Ross and M. Lepper (1985) ‘The Hostile Media Phenomenon: Biased Perception and Perceptions of Media Bias in Coverage of the Beirut Massacre Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 49: pp. 577-88 Wilhoit G.C. D. Weaver


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