Pew study: News media inserted bias into gay marriage debate - New York News

Pew study: News media inserted bias into gay marriage debate

Updated:

By: Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News

Recent news coverage conveyed a strong bias in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage at a time when the American public was more evenly divided on the issue, a new study from the Pew Research Center revealed.

“Stories with more statements supporting same-sex marriage outweighed those with more statements opposing it by a margin of roughly 5-to-1,” the Pew study said. “… Twitter postings on the subject were nearly evenly split between support and opposition for the measure, aligning much more closely with public opinion than with the news media.”

The Pew study analyzed nearly 500 news stories from March 18 to May 12. Forty-seven percent of news stories during that period supported same-sex marriage, with 9 percent of news coverage opposing same-sex marriage and 44 percent considered neutral.

Conversely, public opinion at that time was “only” 51-42 in support of same-sex marriage. On Twitter that margin was even thinner: 31 percent of tweets supported gay marriage, 28 percent opposed it and 42 percent of tweets were deemed neutral.

“In order for a story to be classified as supporting or opposing same sex marriage, statements expressing that position had to outnumber the opposite view by at least 2-to-1,” the Pew study said. “Stories that did not meet that threshold were defined as neutral or mixed.”

The Huffington Post was perhaps the most biased mainstream written-news outlet: 62 percent of Huffington Post stories supported same-sex marriage, 7 percent opposed it and 31 percent were neutral. Two publications the Pew study singled out for their restraint were USA Today (67 percent neutral) and Wall Street Journal (70 percent neutral).

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments about legalizing same-sex marriage on March 26 and 27. “Those hearings led to a firestorm of coverage. Of all the stories examined in (the Pew) study, 55 percent came during (March 25-29),” reported the study that Paul Hitlin, Amy Mitchell and Mark Jurkowitz co-authored for the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

In related coverage, a Deseret News article from 2011 reported that religion was important to 61 percent of Americans but only 36 percent of journalists.


Original Post

Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Suspect, rookie officer both wounded in gunfire

    Sunday, August 31 2014 10:11 PM EDT2014-09-01 02:11:38 GMT
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
    Authorities say an early morning gunfire exchange on a Brooklyn street has left the suspect hospitalized and a police officer with a graze wound.
  • New MTA bus routes take effect

    New MTA bus routes take effect

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:51:36 GMT
    MTAMTA
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
    The MTA has new bus routes throughout the 5 boroughs. 
  • 3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    3 hurt in lightning strike as storms batter NYC area

    Sunday, August 31 2014 9:47 PM EDT2014-09-01 01:47:41 GMT
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
    Heavy thunderstorms swept through the tri-state on Sunday causing flash floods and lightning strikes that injured 3 people. The three men were struck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx Sunday afternoon and were being treated at a local hospital. Meanwhile, various Labor Day weekend celebrations were interrupted, delayed and even canceled as the U.S. Open tennis tournament had to be postponed and the Electric Zoo musical festival on Randall's Island had to be prematurely shut down.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices