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A Measure of Media Bias

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Author Info

  • Tim Groseclose

    (Department of Political Science, University of California at Los Angeles)

  • Jeffrey Milyo

    (Department of Economics and Truman school of Public Affairs, University of Missouri)

Abstract

We measure media bias by estimating ideological scores for several major media outlets. To compute this, we count the times that a particular media outlet cites various think tanks and policy groups, and then compare this with the times that members of Congress cite the same groups. Our results show a strong liberal bias: all of the news outlets we examine, except Fox News' Special Report and the Washington Times, received scores to the left of the average member of Congress. Consistent with claims made by conservative critics, CBS Evening News and the New York Times received scores far to the left of center. The most centrist media outlets were PBS News Hour, CNN's Newsnight, and ABC's Good Morning America; among print outlets, USA Today was closest to the center. All of our findings refer strictly to news content; that is, we exclude editorials, letters, and the like. Copyright (c) 2005 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 120 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1191-1237

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:120:y:2005:i:4:p:1191-1237

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  1. Sendhil Mullainathan & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Media Bias," NBER Working Papers 9295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Djankov, Simeon & et al, 2003. "Who Owns the Media?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 341-81, October.
  3. Dwight R. Lee, 2001. "The Internet, the Market, and Communication: Don't Ignore the Shoe While Admiring the Shine," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 20(3), Fall.
  4. repec:cto:journl:v:20:y:2001:i:3:p:431-451 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. John R. Lott, Jr., 1999. "Public Schooling, Indoctrination, and Totalitarianism," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S127-S157, December.
  6. Baron, David P., 2004. "Persistent Media Bias," Research Papers 1845r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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