Elections

Media Bias in Coverage of 2012 US Presidential Election?

Jun 4 '12

The all-politics-all-the-time website Politico has a section called “The Arena” in which they query a bunch of (ex-)politicians and political analysts, and then put up the answers to the question of the days next to each other in a blog-like format. Here’s today’s question:

A recent story by POLITICO’s Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen suggests coverage of Mitt Romney by the Washington Post, the New York Times and other news organizations has been biased. The writers argue that those newspapers have put greater emphasis on stories that may prove harmful to Romney’s campaign than negative ones about the Obama reelection effort.

Is this is an accurate critique of 2012 campaign coverage? Has the mainstream media tilted against Romney?

I’d like to be able to respond to this with an answer featuring actual research, so if anyone has any relevant research please provide a short description of what you’ve done and what you’ve found in the comments section below. Could also serve as a useful resource for journalists who are undoubtedly going to be writing on this topic in the coming months.

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UPDATE: As was noted in the first comment, John actually posted on this last week! (Welcome to the decentralized management structure of The Monkey Cage…) John was also nice enough to provide a collection of links to previous Monkey Cage posts on media bias generally, which I am now including below.

So let me restate my query: has anyone done any research beyond the The Project for Excellence in Journalism study that John cited?

Here are the previous Monkey Cage links:

http://tmc.local/blog/2012/04/04/how-interest-group-mobilization-explains-media-bias/
http://tmc.local/blog/2012/02/06/media-bias-abortion-and-the-other-80/
http://tmc.local/blog/2011/08/01/fair-and-balanced-after-all/
http://tmc.local/blog/2010/02/25/media_bias_in_the_2008_electio/
http://tmc.local/blog/2008/07/10/post_100/
http://tmc.local/blog/2008/04/23/biased_media_coverage_of_march/
http://tmc.local/blog/2008/02/05/is_there_a_liberal_bias_among/
http://tmc.local/blog/2007/12/07/more_on_the_media_and_ideologi/
http://tmc.local/blog/2007/12/06/is_the_media_ideologically_bia/