journalism

Surprise! Only 7% of journalists are Republicans

Journalist Party Affiliation

In an Indiana University School of Journalism online survey of 1,080 journalists shocking probably no one, just 7.1% consider themselves Republican, compared to 28.1% who consider themselves Democrats. Another 50.2% of respondents claimed the “Independent” mantle.

“The American Journalist in the Digital Age” survey has been conducted five times since the 1970s — 1971, 1982, 1992, 2002, and 2013. In 1971, 35.5% of journalists surveyed considered themselves Democrats, while 25.7% considered themselves Republican. Democrat affiliation spiked in 1992 with 44.1% of journalists rallying behind team Clinton.

The Fix’s Chris Cillizza concluded:

Over the last several decades, three things have happened: 1) The number of Democratic-identifying reporters increased steadily prior to a significant drop in the latest survey 2) The number of Republicans has steadily shrunk with that number dipping into single digits for the first time ever in the new survey c) more and more reporters are identifying as independents.  What seems to be happening — at least in the last decade - -is that journalists are leaving both parties, finding themselves more comfortable as unaffiliateds.

Cillizza also suggests that the move toward the “Independent” moniker for journalists mimics a similar move by voters over the same period (according to Gallup), which — in this author’s humble opinion — is probably baloney.

The Rise of Digital On Demand Media

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This morning I was a mentor. This afternoon, a boss. Later, after lunch, an employee which, in turn, allowed for me to provide for my family. Let’s not forget this evening when I opened my books and was a student.

If this were my life a decade ago I would quite easily forget, or neglect, my right to know what was going on around me in my community, my state, my nation, and my world. The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, The NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, or CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight and Anderson Cooper 360º would have just past me by without notice.

Today, with the revolution of online media and digital forms of journalism it allows for any multi-tasking individual with ADD, such as myself, to stay current with events happening around the world, or just down the street. The depth that I want to consume myself in the information depends solely on how much time I have in between appointments. I tell Anderson Cooper when he can and cannot speak.

Getting information about current events through internet sources has given me the opportunity to stay informed on the go. Corporate news networks on television dictate when you can listen and they have the same tone and message with slightly different undertones and agendas to appeal to a certain demographic, but still manage to deliver the same generic stories.

How the Media Reacts to Boston Tragedy

Boston Marathon

In the aftermath of the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday, a lot of information came out, and less than 36 hours we now know that most, if not almost all, of that information was incorrect.  As Elizabeth Scalia (@TheAnchoress) tweeted yesterday:

Every time something big happens, particularly if it is tragic, the media reports a lot of things that just aren’t so.  You’ve heard the saying “if it bleeds, it leads?”  Well that is completely true, and every news outlet wants to be the absolute first to report every detail.  When things are happening quickly, news outlets report whatever information they have, with no time to fact-check the details to make sure that what they report is accurate.  In the 24-hour news cycle, every broadcast news outlet is competing for ratings, so being right, but second to report, does not help.  Being wrong, but first to report, can help a broadcast station because they get the reputation as “the first on the scene,” but there is no accountability later for being wrong.  After all, it’s a chaotic scene, so how can you blame them for being wrong?

Progressive Journalists: NOW we’ll be tougher on Obama

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There’s been a lot of ink (digital or otherwise) by conservatives and libertarians about the lack of critical thinking on the part of much of the press regarding President Obama and his policies.  I’ve been accused of just being paranoid (which may be true), but it looks like there is some validity to the argument.

In conversations with POLITICO, some of the left’s most influential voices in media said that, with the concerns of re-election over, they intend to be more critical of the president’s performance and more aggressive in urging him to pursue a progressive agenda as the clock ticks on his last four years in office.

“Liberals in the media are going to be tougher on Obama and more respectful at the same time,” Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker’s chief political commentator and a former speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, told POLITICO. “He was the champion of our side, he vanquished the foe….. [but] now liberals don’t have to worry about hurting his chances for re-election, so they can be tougher in urging him to do what he should be doing.”

“In a tight election, people were sensitive to anything that would jeopardize the president’s re-election,” said Melber. “There’s no question that a second term changes the center of gravity for any administration: There is no reasonable argument that criticism will result in the defeat of Barack Obama.”

 

Left Turn: Liberal Media Messing With Your Mind

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of once again visiting the Cato Institute in downtown DC for a book forum. (As a bibliophile, I’m constitutionally required to go. “Constitutionally,” as in, my body would fall apart if I didn’t.) I was particularly interested in last week’s offering, Professor Tim Groseclose’s Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, because it’s something that everyone talks about but no one really believes. What Dr. Groseclose was claiming to do—and really, after reading this book, I don’t think it’s really a claim, it’s proven—was to document this in numbers and math, and thus make it truly science.

I’m not going to repeat the video above; they go quite in depth into what the book is about, and I do encourage you to watch, although it is about an hour long, so get popcorn if you do. (Fortunately, I do not believe there is any threat of seeing my ugly mug, so don’t worry about spit takes on your monitor.) Instead, I’ll provide a few highlights and commentary.

The core idea of the book is, obviously, that there is liberal bias in the media, and moreover, that it actually affects our perceptions and our voting. He does say, though, that this is not from false statements, but bias is actually the choice of topics to cover. Someone with a conservative bias would naturally look to find stories that proved that free market capitalism is the best way to ensure prosperity for all, while someone with a liberal bias would naturally look for a story that showed a corporation ripping off people or poor people not being able to help themselves. No lies, just different focus areas.

‘Selfie Stalker’ Sues Nancy Grace for Defamation

Nancy Grace

Judge Dredd wannabe Nancy Grace is finding herself on the defensive as Ben Siebert, falsely dubbed the ‘Selfie Stalker,’ is filing a defamation lawsuit against Grace. Grace, never one to let the facts get in the way of a sensational story to boost her ratings, made no effort to correct her mistake.

The AP reports:

The lawsuit filed Monday in Denver says Grace, who hosts a show on Turner Broadcasting’s HLN network, incorrectly told millions of viewers that Ben Seibert invaded a woman’s home and snapped a photo of himself on her phone, which she described as a “textbook serial killer’s calling card.”

Seibert said Grace humiliated him with her commentary, which went viral on an array of social media sites where readers called him a weirdo, a sicko, a rapist and a pervert. The suit says Grace didn’t check the facts and didn’t care.

Wow, Grace didn’t check the facts and didn’t care? As far as I can tell, this is normal operating procedure for Nancy Grace. It goes something like this:

  1. Accuse an individual of wrongdoing

  2. Use emotional language and imagery

  3. Report only facts which seem to support her theory

  4. Launch into ad hominem attacks against anyone who suggest she is jumping to conclusions or that the accused is innocent until proven guilty

NY Times reporter calls Obama administration the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation

Recent reports from the Associated Press and Cause of Action have explained in great detail that President Barack Obama hasn’t come close to living up to promises of greater transparency, a result of the White House’s effort to control information requested by the press that could prove to be a political headache or embarrassing.

The administration’s obsession of controlling of information isn’t limited to what documents are released. It also extends to how the administration tries to control the press, as James Risen, a reporter for The New York Times, recently explained at a conference (emphasis added):

New York Times reporter James Risen, who is fighting an order that he testify in the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer accused of leaking information to him, opened the conference earlier by saying the Obama administration is “the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation.” The administration wants to “narrow the field of national security reporting,” Risen said, to “create a path for accepted reporting.” Anyone journalist who exceeds those parameters, Risen said, “will be punished.”

The administration’s aggressive prosecutions have created “a de facto Official Secrets Act,” Risen said, and the media has been “too timid” in responding.

CBS News reporter resigns, cites network’s liberal bias

Sharyl Attkisson, a journalist known for her reporting on Fast and Furious as well as Benghazi, has resigned her position at CBS News, citing, among other things, the network’s liberal bias (emphasis added):

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has reached an agreement to resign from CBS News ahead of contract, bringing an end to months of hard-fought negotiations, sources familiar with her departure told POLITICO on Monday.

Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsized influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.

At the same time, Attkisson’s own reporting on the Obama administration, which some staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. She is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — which addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the Obama administration.
[…]
Others have suggested that CBS News itself was politically biased: “It’s no secret that Sharyl has been unhappy about CBS’s lack of interest in investigative reporting, especially when it comes to stories about the Obama administration,” a source close to Attkisson said.

Our PandaCam Media

PandaCam

The current media obsession with the National Zoo’s PandaCam is a perfect illustration of how everything is terrible. A federally funded program that should realistically be operated at no cost, to let the public monitor an evolutionally deficient species that needs extroardinary human intervention to survive, gets pointlessly turned off in the pointless government shutdown, and putatively professional journalists breathlessly announce updates to its status.

George Will’s Libertarian Evolution: Q&A on Obama, Syria, & the Power of Choice

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Nick Gillespie and Reason TV chat with George Will, a conservative journalist, about his transformation to libertarianism.


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