Biased coverage rampant

Derek Thurber

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Derek ThurberThe coverage of the presidential election in ’08 is about the Democrats and even more than that about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Have you ever wondered what happened to all the rest of the candidates? There is so little about them it must be dug up and discovered only after much work.

The media has a duty to display a story from all perspectives without bias, yet this is far from what they have been doing in regards to the upcoming election. I know I find myself flooded with information about Obama and Clinton and completely devoid of information about the Republican candidates.

This is caused by the media not writing about them or commenting on them. According to a study released on Oct. 24 by Project for Excellence in Journalism and Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy the media has been statistically proven to be biased towards the Democrats in ’08.

Of the 1,742 recent print, broadcast and online news stories analyzed by this study, about half were about Democrats and only 31 percent were about Republicans. Of these, Obama took 14 percent of the total coverage and Clinton 17 percent. Fifty-four percent of the total coverage was on only five of the 18 candidates running.

The stories have also not been evenly given. The Democrats have overall received more positive coverage than their Republican counterparts.

Obama has received the most positive coverage with 47 percent of the stories about him being positive. This is compared to only 27 percent for Clinton. The title of worst goes to Sen. John McCain who had only 12 percent of the stories about him being positive.

This shows a clear bias towards certain candidates. The media has been showing only certain candidates and has been showing those candidates as better than others. With the incredible sway the media plays on the mentalities of Americans this bias could drastically affect the outcome of the race in ’08.

As if this wasn’t enough, a similar study showed that the media has not been giving the public what they want to know about their candidates. The study shows that people want to know more about what the candidates’ policies and plans are, and less about their family and other matters.

This study showed that 77 percent of the public wanted more coverage of the policies and ideas of the candidates. As of right now, the media is doing the exact opposite. Nearly two-thirds of the coverage has been about the campaign and how well each candidate is doing in the “race” to the elections.

“The press and the public are not on the same page when it comes to priorities in campaign coverage,” the study said. “This disparity indicates there is room for the press to calibrate its coverage differently to make it more useful and possibly more interesting to citizens.”

This coverage is bad. There has been biased, incomplete coverage of the presidential campaign. The media has focused on a few candidates who create certain appeal because of their race or gender and have failed to address many other aspects of the race, including the other candidates.

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