Tuesday, September 18, 2007

how the C-J stacks up

The editor of the C-J, Keith Runyon, follows up the "Media Matters of America" report by describing "how the C-J stacks up"...

From the data he cites and from what I've observed, Keith provides a balanced op-ed menu. And I appreciate that. Likewise, my dealings with Keith have been fine. (In 1994, I did have a piece commissioned by the C-J and then rejected when I found that unions benefited at the expense of minorities. Someone at the C-J didn't like that conclusion much! Thankfully, Business First was less biased...)

But of course, this provides, at best, weak evidence to counter the claim that newspapers have a liberal bias-- in terms of their news coverage and their editorials. In the case of the C-J, the editorialists pursue certain brands of liberalism with zeal and consistency. (Unfortunately, these efforts trash the unborn and run counter to advocacy of the working poor and minorities on many issues-- my favorite part of liberalism.)

The results of the Media Matters survey on the use of political pundits is welcome news, especially as a response to those who have long claimed that there is a liberal media bias.
One of the purposes of an op-ed page is to provide alternative points of view to those expressed in the editorial column. In May 2006, we conducted a survey of our column usage over the previous seven months. We found virtual "dead heat" between liberals and conservatives on the Forum page...

During the period surveyed, we found that Kathleen Parker, a conservative, appeared more often (30 times) than any other columnist. And George Will, leader national, appeared in a tie with liberal Maureen Dowd for the second most frequently published (24 times). Three other conservatives followed -- David Brooks (23), Cal Thomas and Charles Krauthammer (22).


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