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Harris Poll recently took a look at bias in the news, with some interesting cross-media findings. In general, citizens see bias in direct proportion to their own bias. For starters, however, Harris identified heavy and light users of news/public affairs programming, with heavy users going there at least once a week and with light users going there no more than two or three times a month. Radio talk programming proved to be more addictive than its television counterpart. 25% of radio listeners tune in three or more times weekly, compared to 13% for TV. TV catches up in the remaining tiers. 13% go to radio once or twice a week compared to 16% for TV; 9% use radio less than once a week but more than once a month, compared to 21% for TV, and 54% use radio less than once a month, compared to 50% for TV. Respondents to Harris' poll had to pick which medium they thought most biased, and divided responses by political party affiliate and by political philosophy. Most groups picked television as most biased. At best, it tied in some categories with those who felt all are equally biased. Not surprisingly, radio, considered by many to be dominated by conservative Talkers, was seen as less biased by Republicans and conservatives (a mere 2% in each case) than by Democrats and liberals (11% and 16% respectively).

Which medium has the most bias?

Total Rep. Dem. Ind.
Television 41% 44% 35% 44%
Print 17% 27% 10% 12%
Radio 7% 2% 11% 9%
All equally biased 31% 25% 35% 31%
None than than another 4% 2% 7% 3%
Not sure 1% 0% 3% 1%
Total Cons. Mod. Lib.
Television 41% 37% 47% 31%
Print 17% 22% 15% 10%
Radio 7% 2% 7% 16%
All equally biased 31% 35% 27% 33%
None than than another 4% 3% 3% 8%
Not sure 1% 0% 2% 3%

Source: Harris Poll




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