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Thread: ABC is Right Wing: Study

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    ABC is Right Wing: Study

    Newspapers are left wing, television is right wing, and the media as a whole tends to favour the coalition.

    And surprisingly, according to researchers from the Australian National University, the ABC Television news is the most pro-coalition of them all.

    Former Liberal prime minister John Howard railed against the alleged left-wing bias of the ABC but the researchers found Aunty was more likely to favour his side.

    Researchers pored over news stories from 1996 to 2007 to establish if the media was biased.

    The results, released on Wednesday, point to the media being generally middle-of-the-road, with the coalition tending to win out.

    Researchers found journalists were "a centrist bunch". The exception was ABC TV news which "had a significant slant towards the coalition".

    Newspapers were more pro-Labor, while talkback radio and television were more pro-coalition.

    Melbourne's The Age newspaper had the most "slanted" pro-Labor headlines.

    When it came to editorial slant and donations by the media to political parties, the coalition was laughing all the way to the polls.

    More than three quarters of newspaper editorials endorsed the coalition. The Herald Sun and The West Australian newspapers endorsed them 100 per cent of the time.

    Media companies donated significantly more money - 39 per cent more - to the coalition than to Labor. Every media company that donated favoured the coalition.

    Of course, the coalition was in power for the period studied.

    The researchers found that the more a political party spent on advertising with a media outlet, the more favourable the media coverage.

    "It is consistent with the simple notion that advertising dollars may be an explicit or implicit payment to proprietors for favourable coverage," the study said.

    But it said the link could also be explained by political parties advertising with media outlets which were slanted in their favour.

    Study author and ANU economist Andrew Leigh concluded that journalists were centrists, but editors were "more likely to take a party line".

    The study suggested "slant is determined at an editorial level rather than through pressure or article selection by journalists".

    The researchers measured bias by counting the number of mentions of left-leaning or right-leaning intellectuals. They also rated the "slant" of front-page election stories and headlines, counted electoral endorsements and tallied political donations.

    The ABC's Radio National was the only media outlet to score dead-even when it came to favouring left-leaning or right-leaning intellectuals.

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    Re:ABC is Right Wing: Study

    It goes to show that our National Broadcaster rather than being a neutral reporter is a voice of the Government of the day!

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