Media Bias?: A Comparative Study of Time, Newsweek, the National Review, and The Progressive Coverage of Domestic Social Issues, 1975-2000

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Media Bias? addresses the question: To what extent can mainstream news media be characterized as 'conservative' or 'liberal'? The study involves a systematic comparative analysis of the coverage given to major domestic social issues from 1975 to 2000 by two mainstream newsmagazines, Newsweek and Time, and two explicitly partisan publications, the conservative National Review and the liberal Progressive. Working from the idea that some biased accounts of social issues can perform several positive functions for the maintenance and vitality of political democracy, Adkins Covert and Wasburn offer a new methodology for analyzing bias empirically, one that is capable of producing valid and reliable findings. They begin by defining the meaning of 'bias' and discuss possible methods of measuring media bias empirically and systematically. By comparing each publication's coverage on poverty, crime, the environment, and gender-issues in which the line between the conservative and liberal positions are clearly delineated-the authors consider both the positive and negative consequences of media bias and how the bias plays out within a media-conscious democratic society.

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Chapter 1 The Media Bias Debate
Chapter 2 Mainstream and Partisan Newsmagazines
Chapter 3 Measuring Media Bias
Review and The Progressive Coverage of Selected Social Issues 19752000
Chapter 5 The Use of Information Sources in Partisan Publications
Chapter 6 Assessing the Role of Historical Context in Media Bias
Democracy in Their Coverage of Domestic Social Issues?
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Tawnya J. Adkins Covert is associate professor of sociology at Western Illinois University. Philo C. Wasburn is professor of sociology at Purdue University.

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