Coverage of the religious right in five major newspapers
Dalkowitz, John P.
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People of the conservative political inclination often assert that the media have a strong liberal bias. L. Brent Bozell and Brent H. Baker, editors of the book And That's the Way It Isn't: A Reference Guide to Media Bias (1990), among others of the conservative poHtical persuasion, point to somewhat compelling anecdotal evidence of a liberal media bias. A significant liberal media bias, however, has yet to be empirically proven. In fact, W. Lance Bennett, author of News: The Politics of Illusion (1988), asserts that although the media are biased in certain aspects, they are not biased in terms of ideology. Members of what is commonly referred to as the religious right, such as Focus on the Family, the Concerned Women of America, the Christian Coalition and the American Family Association, feel particularly alienated from the media. Although no study has been found concerning media's treatment of the religious right, research concerning bias in the coverage of presidential elections coupled with the existing research regarding newspaper coverage of religion in general might lead one to believe that if there is a bias against the religious right, it is not significant. This study, consequently, is a content analysis of five major newspapers' coverage of the religious right.