Harvard-PEJ study proves media bias, essentially accuses Old Media of fraud. Why aren’t Old Media leaders defending themselves? 11/2/07Posted by Steve Boriss in Bias.
In most industries, if a new study came out proving a company had made false claims about their product that harmed the public, we know exactly what would happen. The company would immediately seek public exposure to defend itself vigorously, or announce they were investigating the charges, or apologize profusely while proclaiming that such a thing would never happen again. Yet, Investors Business Daily reports that newspapers and network TV news have been caught making false claims about their objectivity, prompting — nothing — no news industry reaction at all. A joint survey by two institutions revered by journalists, Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center and the Project for Excellence in Journalism, proved that newspaper and network TV coverage of the current presidential race has been overwhelmingly sympathetic to Democrats and hostile to Republicans. In newspapers, the ratio of positive to negative stories about Democrats was more than 5-to-1, while for Republicans negative stories outnumbered positive ones by 50%. On network evening news, twice as many stories about Democrats were positive, while twice as many stories about Republicans were negative. Democrats also get more coverage overall.
The fact that not a single one of these news enterprises has stepped forward to defend its behavior, announce an investigation, or apologize speaks ill of their leadership, who can justifiably be accused of either lack of courage, lack of integrity, or both. Lack of courage, because they might fear business losses from admitting to the public that they have been misleading them about the quality of their news product. Lack of integrity, because they allow this deceit to continue and fail to insist that their newsrooms report on corruption within their own industry as they would on others. Journalism as a discipline has a crisis of leadership and it is contributing to its demise.