The Press Really Is Ignoring Democratic Issues And Policies
A study of the coverage of the 2022 election revealed that The New York Times and Washington Post ignored policy and focused on Republican issues.
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The Media Has A Republican Bias
The word bias is often used in the wrong context when discussing political coverage. Readers, viewers, and listeners may say a story is biased when what they mean is that they disagree with the content.
Donald Trump and the Republican Party often will howl bias when what they really mean is that they don’t like a story.
There does exist a different and lesser discussed form of bias, and that is how major news organizations decide to cover a story and what they present as important.
Americans who follow politics lament that policies get no coverage.
We at The Daily and PoliticusUSA make it a point to cover policies because we believe that people should know how their government works and what it is doing.
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Large media corporations have a different view of political coverage.
A study by the Columbia Journalism Review of the 2022 election coverage provided by The New York Times and The Washington Post confirmed what many have felt for a long time:
Of four hundred and eight articles on the front page of the Times during the period we analyzed, about half—two hundred nineteen—were about domestic politics. A generous interpretation found that just ten of those stories explained domestic public policy in any detail; only one front-page article in the lead-up to the midterms really leaned into discussion about a policy matter in Congress: Republican efforts to shrink Social Security.
Of three hundred and ninety-three front-page articles in the Post, two hundred fifteen were about domestic politics; our research found only four stories that discussed any form of policy. The Post had no front-page stories in the months ahead of the midterms on policies that candidates aimed to bring to the fore or legislation they intended to pursue. Instead, articles speculated about candidates and discussed where voter bases were leaning.
Television news has long ignored policy. Cable news is focused on conflict and talking head entertainment, but two of the nation’s most heralded newspapers are also ignoring policy, and reinforcing the ideas of horserace politics and partisan divide.
How big media covers stories is only half of the problem. As we will discuss below, there is also an issue of what they cover.
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