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CyberAlert. Tracking Media Bias Since 1996
| April 20, 1996 (Vol. One; No. 5) |

89% Voted for Clinton

One item today, but first a bit of housekeeping. In order to keep everyone's e-mail address a bit more private as well as to eliminate the huge pile of names at the beginning of each message, I'm blind copying this message to everyone except the seven people who don't have a personal address and get their mail forwarded internally from a general company address.
     Now, for the news of the day: The Freedom Forum (Arlington Va division) released on Wednesday a 218 page report titled "Partners and Adversaries: The Contentious Connection Between Congress & the Media." It was written by Elaine Povich, a former Chicago Tribune reporter.
     Buried in the appendix are some very interesting findings in "a few final questions for classification purposes only." These were posed to two sets of people. First, 139 Washington bureau chiefs and congressional correspondents (newspapers, wire services and TV networks) who completed a 58 question survey by mail in November-December 1995.  Second, the a very similar survey was completed by 100 newspaper editors (half with circulation over and half under 75,000).
     Washington reporter results are first followed by the editors in ():

Q: "How would you characterize your political orientation?"

Liberal: 22% (9%)
Liberal to moderate: 39% (23%)
Moderate: 30% (35%)
Moderate to conservative: 7% (19%)
Conservative: 2% (6%)

Q: "What is your current political affiliation?"

Republican: 4% (14%)
Democrat: 50% (31%)
Independent: 37% (39%)
Other: 9% (7%)

Q: "Did you vote for Bill Clinton, George Bush, Ross Perot, or some other candidate?"

Bill Clinton: 89% (60%)
George Bush: 7% (22%)
Ross Perot: 2% (4%)
Other: 2% (9%)

     I realize not all total 100%, but I'm getting this off their report so I would guess some people refused to answer. Previous surveys have shown that minorities and women are more liberal, but that's not at play here: of the Washington reporters 92% are white, six percent black, two percent Asian and one percent Hispanic.  Gender-wise, 71% male, 29% female. The editors are even more white and male.
     So does this help prove liberal bias. Of course not, Povich told the April 18 Washington Times: "One of the things about being a professional is that you attempt to leave your personal feelings aside as you do your work. What I think is true, more people who are of a liberal persuasion go into reporting simply because they believe in the ethics and ideals."

     The key word is "attempt." All for now, you ethically-challenged non-idealists.

  -- Brent Baker










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