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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In the past fifty years or so, research in two traditions has emerged that studies media bias, broadly defined. The first, which is generally quantitative, examines media bias at the outlet-level. The second, which is generally qualitative, examines media bias at the country-level. This article begins by discussing the various definitions and operationalizations of media bias at both levels of analysis. It then reviews the relevant literature on the effects of media bias from a variety of fields, including communication, economics, and political science. Third, it provides an overview of the various methods scholars have used to measure media bias at the outlet- and country-level. Fourth, it describes why some outlets and countries are more likely to have biased media than other countries. In particular, it discusses economic, cultural, and structural explanations for media bias. Finally, the article offers up potential avenues for future research.

Keywords: media bias, comparative political communication, political polarization, selection bias, content bias, political parallelism

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