News media is biased for gay marriage, says US study

Wed, 19 Jun 2013

New research from America suggests news coverage is heavily biased in favour of same-sex marriage.

The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center, found there were five times as many stories favouring gay marriage as against it.

Researchers examined nearly 500 news reports from the mainstream media during a period when the US Supreme Court was debating gay marriage.

Support

Almost half (47 per cent) focused mainly on the support for gay marriage, but only 9 per cent focused mainly on the opposition.

The remaining news stories were either a mix of viewpoints or reported the issue in a neutral way.

“A story was deemed to be in support of or opposition to same-sex marriage if the statements expressing that view outnumbered opposing statements by at least 2-to-1,” the report stated.

Bias

Here in the UK, the BBC has in the past been accused of an inherent socially liberal bias.

When Lord Patten was appointed as the new Chairman of the BBC Trust, he said the broadcaster should “listen hard” to those who accuse it of drowning viewers in a “small metropolitan pond of stereotypes and prejudices”.

And one of its most influential journalists, Andrew Marr, has said: “The BBC is not impartial or neutral.

Liberal

“It’s a publicly-funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people.

“It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”

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