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Thread: Bias in the Media: Experimentation

  1. #1 Bias in the Media: Experimentation 
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    I am going investigate a "chicken or the egg"question.

    Do people watch a certain newsstation due to prior political beliefs or do viewers gain political beliefsfrom watching that particular news station.

    For example, do conservatives watch FOX News because it is more tailoredto their pre-set beliefs, or do viewers become more conservative because theywatch FOX News?

    I just don't know how to conduct the experiment itself. What methods can I use to measure beliefs andhow to I keep track?

    Any assistance is very much appreciated! Thank you for your time!


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  3. #2  
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    Do people watch a certain newsstation due to prior political beliefs or do viewers gain political beliefsfrom watching that particular news station.
    Those are not mutually exclusive, and one would assume both factors have influence in some proportions - perhaps even work together, as a mutually reinforcing system.

    You must also pay attention to the possibility that the audiences of different news stations vary in the relative proportion of influence from them, as do the newsstations themselves. And that this changes over time.

    But it isn't hopeless:

    One tack might be to track newly arisen beliefs - simple ones which depend on recent events and so cannot have been preset - which are in error.

    You need to pick simple ones, so that you can establish their error with confidence, and you need to pick ones in which the newsstations and their audiences differ among themselves.

    By choosing only erroneous beliefs, you get some isolation of the effects of the newsstations (even indirect ones) as opposed to reality and event and other information sources in the audience's life - those are unlikely to match error, more likely to match accurate perceptions.


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  4. #3  
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    Perhaps investigate historical case studies, such as Henry Ford and the Dearborn Independent newspaper.

    The Dearborn Independent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.- Thucydides
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  5. #4  
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    It certainly caters to different personality types. The kind of personality that loves to listen to an arrogant fat man like Rush Limbaugh go on and on about how stupid everyone else is and how the world's doing fine on its own, ..... probably also takes kindly to Sean Hanity and his cleft chinned smile of superiority.

    Once they've catered to your personality you'll probably believe whatever they say. If Rush Limbaugh made fun of the coal power companies for dumping so much CO2 into the air and then being all surprised when it changes the weather (instead of making fun of environmentalists for becoming hysterically convinced that a little bit of smoke is going to bring the sky down upon us), then probably his listeners would sit at home and shake their fists about those durned polluters. Instead they have this brimming dislike of all things regulatory. So much potential. Too bad it got tapped for the wrong cause.

    But, no matter what you do, that audience just plain likes to have someone they can feel superior to.
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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