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News media in the United States

Mass media are the means through which information is transmitted to a large audience. This includes newspapers, television, radio, and more recently the Internet. Those who provide news and information, and the outlets for which they work, are known as the news media.

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While there are generalizations that most national news-making media are liberal, studies have shown that this is in fact true. According to the text, one study conducted on the twelve years of new stories published by giants, New York Times and Washington Post, determined how both of the newspapers depicted ten conservative Senators and ten liberal Senators. The evidence shows that conservatives are three times as likely to be called conservatives as liberal Senators are called liberal. This indicates that the big-news media is more critical of conservatives, more willing to typecast conservatives which lead to a media bias in favor of liberals. Since these newspapers have a mass audience, treating the different Senators differently in the press can influence their views. However, the most compelling evidence to show that the liberal beliefs of members of the national news media are reflected in their work is that when the New York Times’ editor who caters to public opinion explicitly stated that “Of course” the New York Times is a liberal newspaper. Another relation to class is the article’s reference to an adversarial press. An adversarial press is the tendency of the national media to be suspicious of officials and use attack journalism against politicians. The article presents an interesting and seemingly contradicting point of view by saying that the liberal press is actually more critical of liberal policies, party, and the president. One of the reasons emphasizes the gatekeeper and selective attention terms that were discussed in class. One of the author’s theories is that the conservative media only focuses on conservative issues. This means that they choose which stories they pay attention to thus applying selective attention. This creates a sense that the liberal media is more critical, but in reality, that media is just covering and commenting on a story somewhat also neglected by conservative press. The conservative press in its gatekeeper role, choosing which issues become national issues and for how long, do not choose to cover some of these stories that are considered liberal issues.

Contributed by Jen Lee

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