This is sure to set teeth on edge, veins in the neck to bulge and the media elite to froth at the mouth:
These results are from CMPA’s 2008 ElectionNewsWatch Project. They are based on a scientific content analysis of all 481 election news stories (15 hours 40 minutes of airtime) that aired on the flagship evening news shows on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX (the first 30 minutes of “Special Report with Brit Hume”) from October 1 through December 15, 2007.
Who’s Fair and Balanced?: Fox News Channel’s coverage was more balanced toward both parties than the broadcast networks were. On FOX, evaluations of all Democratic candidates combined were split almost evenly – 51% positive vs. 49% negative, as were all evaluations of GOP candidates – 49% positive vs. 51% negative, producing a perfectly balanced 50-50 split for all candidates of both parties.
On the three broadcast networks, opinion on Democratic candidates split 47% positive vs. 53% negative, while evaluations of Republicans were more negative – 40% positive vs. 60% negative. For both parties combined, network evaluations were almost 3 to 2 negative in tone, i.e. 41% positive vs. 59% negative.
Who, you're probably asking, are the CMPA? Glad you asked:
The Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) is a nonpartisan research and educational organization which conducts scientific studies of the news and entertainment media. CMPA election studies have played a major role in the ongoing debate over improving the election process. Our continuing analysis and tabulation of late night political jokes provides a lighter look at major news makers. CMPA is one of the few groups to study the important role the media plays in communicating information about health risks and scientific issues.
Since its formation in 1985, CMPA has emerged as a unique institution that bridges the gap between academic research and the broader domains of media and public policy. Founded by Drs. Robert and Linda Lichter, CMPA has become an acknowledged source of expertise in media analysis.
The Center's goal is to provide an empirical basis for ongoing debates over media fairness and impact through well-documented, timely, and readable studies of media content. CMPA's bi-monthly newsletter, Media Monitor, is a prime example of these analyses. Our scientific approach sets us apart from self appointed media "watchdog" groups, while our timeliness and outreach distinguishes us from traditional academic researchers.
Pass this along. Michelle did.