Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Right Whing Whine About Media Bias

I love the right wing punditocracy at the Sun chain, (and the National Post and Margrete Wente at the Globe and Mail, Lorne Gunter at the Edmonton Journal, and the editorial interference of David Asper in his chain, etc. etc.) Slow news day, got nothing else to say well you can always bring up the old 'red' herring of the left liberal bias in the media, a media they now dominate but apparently not enough. Here is yet another example of their twisting the facts to fit their case:

Liberal bias? It's not just the CBC-By LORRIE GOLDSTEN
Here's something you may find interesting regarding the ongoing controversy over liberal media bias in Canada.

There is no controversy over this, its only an issue in the minds of rightwhing pundints who have nothing else to write about

According to a recent study by two Ryerson University journalism professors:

* Almost half of all Canadian television news directors, the individuals who have the most influence in determining what political news is covered on your favourite nightly newscast and how it is reported, vote Liberal.

ok so the other half votes against the Liberals. Wonder how the Sports departments in the media vote.....if Don Cherry is any example its definetly NOT Liberal...hey he works for the CBC.....

* A TV news director working at the tax-funded CBC is almost three times more likely to vote for the NDP in federal elections, compared to his or her counterpart in the private sector.

surprize surprize most of them live in urban Toronto, what do you expect from living in Danforth .

* When this research was compiled in 2002, just over one in 10 (11.4%) of all private sector news directors said they would vote for the Canadian Alliance. However, not one news director at the CBC described himself (or herself) as an Alliance voter.

Nope but they sure are hiring alot of Alliance commentators for the CBC in the past twenty years. While unions and the left get short shrift in the private media consortiums.

These findings are contained in "The Canadian News Directors Study", an informative survey of the political leanings and demographics of TV news directors, conducted by Marsha Barber and Ann Rauhala. The results were published in the May 2005 issue of the Canadian Journal of Communication.

The article is available with a subscription to the Journal, the abstract for the study says the following

The Canadian News Directors Study: Demographics and Political Leanings of Television Decision Makers

Marsha Barber, Ryerson University

Abstract: This is the first academic study to attempt to understand more about the men and women who make key decisions in television newsrooms across Canada. The authors surveyed all television news directors across the country.

The research reveals that, unlike in the United States, the voting patterns of news directors mirror those of the general Canadian population.
Opps Lorne forgot to mention this little fact, that the Canadian media reflects Canadian society, so when the rightwhingwhiners complain about liberal left media bias what they really are saying is that they hate the fact Canada is a social democratic left liberal bad so sad move south...

It reveals that news directors are more secular than those in the general population. Which means they are less tolerante of bias, which of course is positive unless you have a political ideology like Lorne, then this is another example of liberalism

The research also uncovered significant demographic differences between CBC and private sector news directors. No surprize, as Lorne points out the private sector media is more biased in FAVOUR of business, the Reform/Alliance/Conservatives, and anti-union, anti-feminist, anti-gay, just look at the Sun chain or QR77/Ched radio network in Alberta

Finally, it suggests that women and ethnic minorities are dramatically underrepresented in senior positions. opps gee Lorne didn't mention that I guess that's less important than a mythical liberal left bias in the media.

Man these rightwhingwhiners would make Rumplestiltskin jealous in how they weave their liberal left media bias out of the flimsiest of evidence. Its the Lubor Zink school of journalism that now dominates Canada's media not the liberal left. But shhh don't tell them that they love to be an oppressed minority

Oh and by the way 95% of columinsts with the Sun Chain support the Conservatives or parties to the right of them. Ok thats not a empirical estimate, it's my biased view from reading their columns, and its about as valid as theirs about the domination of the media by the liberal left..

The Sun chain originated in the wake of the death of the Bassett meida Empire flagship newspaper the Toronto Telegram. And the Telegram had a right wing bias which the Sun has inherited and expanded. As has its doppleganger the National Post.

I will reveal to you, here, tonight -- for the first time anywhere -- how the entire modern history of Canadian journalism was played in a condensed preview form, inadvertently and unknowingly, at the Toronto Telegram in the 1960s;

Bassett was just not a natural-born converger. He was born divergent. On his op-ed page ran a marvellous mish-mash of divergent opinions from Doug Fisher to Lubor Zink. There was no prevailing voice. He would say: "Page six is mine!" And that was where he propagated a mainly right-wing view of society. But that view emphatically included a strong belief in diversity of opinion. So over the gutter on seven, anything went -- and it confused the daylights out of a lot of readers.

They would phone and say: "What are you guys in favour of anyway?" And they would point out that over at the Star, opinions were pretty carefully converged so that they didn't stray too much from a general Liberal-at-election-NDP-between sort of stance, with no errant Zinks wandering page seven to confuse people -- and erode circulation. The great Duncan MacPherson once thanked the Star, as he accepted his millionth cartoonist's National Newspaper Award (the only one that we could hardly ever win), for always giving him "Liberal freedom of expression."

We all accepted the fact that a somewhat unfocused image hurt our circulation, and that this was a price we paid for embodying freedom of expression. But it still smarted when Bassett's conscience led him to end his support of John Diefenbaker -- whose remaining devotees in their thousands flooded our switchboard with cancellations.

The point is that we offered a multiplicity of voices although we were only one paper. And the reason for that was that the publisher, who was a professional journalist before he was a businessman, felt a need to do so driven by his personal, professional ethic.
Andrew W. MacFarlane Professor Emeritus and Founding Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, UWO. November 4, 2000

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