Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Dog bites man alert: Media prefers Kerry

From the "No sh*t!" file comes this article in Editor & Publisher. Here's the lede:

A new study for the non-partisan Project for Excellence in Journalism suggests that in the first two weeks of October, during the period of the presidential debates, George W. Bush received much more unfavorable coverage from some media than Sen. John Kerry.

The article deems the study "hardly representative of the industry as a whole" because the PfE examined coverage in only four newspapers and two cable TV channels: the NY Times, WaPo, Miami Herald and Columbus Dispatch, plus CNN and Fox News. That's true, as far as it goes. But the study is actually well-targeted: (1) the Times and the WaPo are THE establishment newspapers and they set the tone for print media throughout the country, (2) the Herald and Dispatch are the largest and most influential newspapers in the two key swing states of Florida and Ohio, so press coverage slants in those states are relevant. Total tally = more than twice the negative press for the President.

In the final accounting, 59% of stories that were mainly about Bush told a mainly negative story, while 25% of Kerry stories played out that way. One in three stories about Kerry were positive, one in seven for Bush.

Not unexpected. But still not right.

HT: El Capitan.

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