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News ::
Media Bias, in raw numbers
22 May 2002
Modified: 23 May 2002
'' A study of ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News in the year 2001 shows that 92 percent of all U.S. sources interviewed were white, 85 percent were male and, where party affiliation was identifiable, 75 percent were Republican.

Even before the September 11 attacks, Republicans made up a full 68 percent of partisan sources (which surged to 87 percent after the attacks). These figures should dispel the myth of a liberal or pro-Democrat news bias, but don't necessarily prove a conservative or Republican slant. Rather, they reflect a strong tendency of the networks to turn to the party in power for information.


Big business, too, was overrepresented. In a year in which the country lost 2.4 million jobs, corporate representatives appeared about 35 times more frequently than did union representatives, accounting for 7 percent of sources versus labor's 0.2 percent.

Women made up only 15 percent of all sources (14 percent on ABC and CBS, and 18 percent on NBC), and were rarely featured as experts. Women were particularly poorly represented in the categories of professional and political sources, which were only 9 percent female. More than half of the women who appeared on the network news in 2001 were presented as ordinary Americans (as opposed to experts of some kind), versus 14 percent of male sources.


Racial imbalances in sourcing were dramatic across the board. ABC, CBS and NBC each featured a lineup where 92 percent of U.S. sources were white and 7 percent were black. Other groups were even more strikingly underrepresented, with 0.6 percent of all sources being Latino, 0.6 percent Arab-American and 0.2 percent Asian-American. Out of a total of 14,632 sources, only one (on NBC) was identified as Native American. ''

- from Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting

FAIR's full report

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23 May 2002, go and read.
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