Proving that journalists lean (i.e. practically falling over) left

Lancer asked for some sourcing on my claim that 80% of journalists describe themselves as liberals. The numbers below vary but in all of them a couple of things remain consistent–American journalists are overwhelmingly to the left of the American mainstream, vote overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates.

  • A comprehensive study published in 1981 by the nonpartisan Center for Media and Public Affairs showed that 54 percent of elite journalists identified themselves as liberal but only 19 percent as conservatives. In every presidential election between 1964 and 1976, at least 80 percent of them voted Democratic.
  • A 1996 study of Washington bureau chiefs and congressional correspondents by the independent journalism foundation Freedom Forum found that 89 percent of them voted for Bill Clinton in 1992, and just 7 percent for George Bush. Sixty-one percent said they were liberals, only 9 percent conservatives; 50 percent were Democrats, only 4 percent Republicans.
  • In a new Pew study, 34 percent of national journalists describe themselves as “liberal,” compared with 22 percent in 1995. Only 7 percent of reporters say they are conservative at present. For the general public, the results are reversed: 33 percent of Americans call themselves conservatives; 20 percent, liberals.
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8 thoughts on “Proving that journalists lean (i.e. practically falling over) left

  1. Citations, Stu. Citations. Besides the “in a study published somewhere at some time…” could you give perhaps the reference (on-line or otherwise) that I could check myself? You see, some people might have an agenda in trying to show just how left our media are. That way, when Our President (may his name be praised) gets harsh treatment, the people who think he walks on water can dismiss it all has just rubbish from biased terrorists, er, liberals. Then they can go back to their blue collar jobs and wait for those huge tax cuts to kick in. So I’d like to see the methodology, etc., of such poll/studies (uh-oh– there I go with the M-word again) to see how such results are arrived at…

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  2. BTW– who counts as a journalist? Do editors count? Publishers? Interns? Photographers? Sports writers? Important stuff to know!

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  3. Hey, this is good stuff. I like journalists: intelligent bunch generally, interested in issues, think about the world, want to communicate ideas etc. It just proves that Left is Best.

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  4. AnonySweetie,A few things you don’t understand about bloggery. Any competent 21st century e-conversant would be able to take the information I provided (numbers, subjects, and institutions–Pew, Center for Media Public Affairs) and go check the info his/her/it-self.(I’ll update you on the other things you’re missing whenever you’d like).What I find most amusing in your comment is your pretense to care about methodology. The only serious methodology that’s ever been applied to this question was that used by Groseclose and Milyo which established, quite convincingly, the left lean of the media. Or did you miss that study?Until you have addressed THAT methodology yu’d best avoid using that word, since I’m quite certain you don’t have one. And while we’re discussing methodology–did I mention Pew? The methodological credibility of an organization like Pew requires no defense.

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  5. Oops– how rude. I’ll do your homework for you. I mean, it would be such a shame if you went to the trouble to back up your claims and then have people <>not<> bother to read them but complain about them anyway.And I must also apologize for being so arrogant as to question a study’s methodology! And without proposing one of my own! It’s almost like I have a brain! I guess I’ll just go back to listening to AM radio. What station is Rush on?

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  6. But since you’re asking about methodology, let’s start:As I noted, their idea is to compare how many times various media outlets cite policy groups and compare it to how many times members of Congress do.First off, what policy groups? Some significant conservative ones are left out. That is, they aren’t coded for. Moreover, individuals aren’t coded for. Thus, if a paper quotes PETA but cites, as opposition, Senator X, R-OK (say, about some piece of legislation), the article will skew as liberal, even if the story clearly favors the Senator from Oklahoma!That, Prof. Truth, is a <>methodological flaw<>. Of course, it works both ways (say, with the Heritage Foundation, or whatever), but we aren’t told how it’s controlled for. (And the decided liberal slant of the policy groups coded for is also not addressed).There are problems in their attempts to deal with the fact that DC has no members in the House or Senate (it would take too long in this post to address it, but I will in another if you like).They check some outlets (like the <>WSJ<> for only a few months, while others are checked for 12 years. Get that? That’s a major <>methodological flaw<>. I hope you can see that. Do you?*Yawn* And on and on and on.

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  7. And seriously (having read through their study again, and all hostility aside)– I am just not convinced that comparing news pieces to speeches on the Senate floor is a valid comparison. Do you? If so, how? Granted, I haven’t heard <>too<> many Congressional speeches, but I’ve heard enough to think that there are differences– audience, purpose, spoken v. written– which makes such comparisons a little weak.

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  8. “A 1996 study [reported that] Sixty-one percent said they were liberals . . . In a new Pew study, 34 percent of national journalists describe themselves as “liberal,” compared with 22 percent in 1995.”So in 1995, it was 22, then in 1996, it was 61, and now, it’s 34. Boy, those journalists are a crazy bunch!

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