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Media’s bad news bears deliver negative news 62 percent of the time despite economic expansion.
*Economic news heavily negative: Coverage of economic news on the three broadcast networks was negative 62 percent of the time, despite ongoing good news of more jobs, low unemployment and economic growth.
*Good news undermined: Even when good news made it to viewers, journalists undermined it with bad news 45 percent of the time.
*Negative stories given more air time: Good news stories were relegated to briefs roughly two thirds of the time. Negative news received longer stories and outnumbered positive stories by almost 4-to-1 in that category.
Which do you want first – the good news or the bad?
The good news is that the economy is strong and growing. The bad news is the news about the economy.
Mark Finkelstein over at Newsbusters reported this morning that Matt Lauer got a surprise answer from a soldier on a recent trip to Iraq. After asking about morale, a few soldiers told him that morale was good. Like any good morning TV show journalist, Lauer was skeptical:
LAUER: Don't get me wrong, I think you're probably telling the truth, but there might be a lot of people at home wondering how that might be possible with the conditions you're facing and with the insurgent attacks you're facing... What would you say to people who doubt that morale could be that high?
CAPTAIN SHERMAN POWELL: Well sir, I'd tell you, if I got my news from the newspapers I'd be pretty depressed as well.
Powell said that he knows the media have a hard time getting out in Iraq and seeing the improvements, but that he's "satisfied" and "proud" of the work the United States is doing in Iraq.
Don't you also love how Lauer says, "What would you say to people who doubt that morale could be that high?" when he means, "What would you say to Matt Lauer, who doubts that morale could be that high?"
The share of Americans who believe that news organizations are "politically biased in their reporting" increased to 60 percent in 2005, up from 45 percent in 1985, according to polls by the Pew Research Center.
Many people also believe that biased reporting influences who wins or loses elections. A new study by Stefano DellaVigna of the University of California, Berkeley, and Ethan Kaplan of the Institute for International Economic Studies at Stockholm University, however, casts doubt on this view. Specifically, the economists ask whether the advent of the Fox News Channel, Rupert Murdoch's cable television network, affected voter behavior. They found that Fox had no detectable effect on which party people voted for, or whether they voted at all.