Date Approved

6-11-1997

Embargo Period

8-26-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Fulginiti, Anthony J.

Subject(s)

Abortion--Moral and ethical aspects; Newspapers--Objectivity

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

In a content analysis of news articles and a survey of newspaper editors, this study determined if bias in print media can be detected through the content of news writing.

For the content analysis, news articles dealing with abortion were taken from the New York Times and the Washington Post. The articles, which appeared between Oct. 5 and Nov. 5, 1996, are straight news stories and do not include editorial or opinion articles. Coders were given a series of ten questions to answer for each article. For the survey, editors in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania were surveyed about attitudes toward media bias.

It was concluded that educated readers of news articles about socially sensitive issues may not detect bias in an article as a whole. Rather, the readers can detect bias through an analysis of specific aspects of the article (i.e. language, word use, attribution). It was also concluded.that a large percentage of newspaper editors believed that their readership believed the editor's publication was biased. On the other hand, these editors felt their publications were objective in their reporting and that other publications did not exhibit bias.

Share

COinS