WashPost Publicizes Study of Pro-Military Media Bias -- By A Graduate Student

The Washington Post routinely ignores studies of liberal media bias by the Media Research Center and other groups. But you don't even have to have a group or belong to a group to get your research cited in the Post if you find a "pro-war" bias. In Friday's Post, pollster Richard Morin's "Unconventional Wisdom" roundup on page A-2 carries the headline "Embedded Reporters, Slanted Perspective?" At the end, we learn the researcher is simply a graduate student:

The use of embedded reporters by major newspapers during the invasion of Iraq produced more personal and human-interest stories about the lives of U.S. soldiers while "downplaying the effects of the invasion on the Iraqi people," according to a Penn State University researcher.

Andrew M. Lindner examined 742 newspaper articles written by 156 journalists from the beginning of the war on March 19, 2003, until President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech on May 1, 2003.

Lindner found that reporters assigned to military units as part of its "embedded journalists" program were responsible for 71 percent of the articles on the front pages of major newspapers and 69 percent of articles inside the main news sections. Far less prominent were articles written by journalists from those same papers who were based in Baghdad or not part of the embedding program.

Only 12 percent of the stories by embedded journalists reported civilian fatalities, compared with half of those written by reporters stationed in Baghdad, reported Lindner, a sociology graduate student who presented his findings last week at the American Sociological Association meeting in Montreal.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis