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Posted by Question on January 03, 2009 at 20:24:56

In Reply to: Re: Media Bias posted by the crux on January 03, 2009 at 12:26:45:

Interesting answer. I am familiar with the study and results. While not mainstream, you will find that some of the criticism to the methodology stems from the bias in the vocabulary used to determine whether a piece is not not liberal.

When seen superficially, it appears to be a good method but it is not. It works okay when used together with many control parameters (such as discourse in the Congress), but not among journalistic articles which can be either reports or opinions. The types of discourse and vocabulary are very different.

The researcher of this study may be good at political science but not at researching language usage.

The very thing that was tallied (the mentioning of think tanks or policy groups) assumes that a liberal article or news outlet will be more liberal if they mention more liberal think tanks or policy groups. The opposite assumption is used for conservative vocabulary.

The reality is that in the Congress, where the type of language is factual and persuasive, the above assumptions are closer to being correct. News outlets do not behave the same. In fact, the opposite is closer to the truth, and therefore the assumptions applied are wrong, thus the conclusions are wrong, too!!!

Most syndicated editorialist talk more about their opposition to something than to their support for something, and therefore mention their opponents more often than not.

A very good (and extreme example) is Rush Limbaugh, whose vocabulary uses names of individuals, groups and institutions that he wants to vilify at a much greater frequency than names of supporters of his right wing views.

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