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date: 11 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Ideological or partisan media bias is widely debated despite disagreement about its meaning, measurement, and impact. The assumption that news should be objective is itself the object of considerable debate. Assertions of a conservative or establishment bias in the news often draw on critical theory, which argues that news preserves the hegemony of society’s ruling interests. Assertions of liberal bias draw on surveys of journalists’ attitudes and content analyses of news coverage. This case has recently been bolstered by economic modeling. However, numerous content analytic studies have failed to find a liberal bias. This has led to efforts to explain public perceptions of liberal bias in terms of cognitive psychology and elite manipulation. Other explanations include structural biases and media negativism. Internet-driven changes in journalism, including an increase in partisan news, may force a rethinking of the entire debate or even render it irrelevant.

Keywords: media bias, political bias, ideological bias, selection bias, commercial bias, partisan press, objectivity, propaganda model, hostile media effect, negativity

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