Public Perceptions of Media Bias: A Meta-Analysis of American Media Outlets During the 2012 Presidential Election

By Daniel Quackenbush
Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications
2013, Vol. 4 No. 2 | pg. 6/6 |

V. Conclusion

In summation, the extant data and research presented in this paper does not support the existence of a liberal media bias as it relates to mainstream 2012 election coverage. If anything, analysis of the discussed content contradicts ongoing public assumption, indicating a measurable ideological imbalance in typically required non-partisan coverage, one that tips overwhelmingly in favor of then Republican candidate Mitt Romney. If anything else, the statistics presented in this paper clearly suggest a considerable conservative bias by the mainstream media during the course of the 2012 election, exemplified through their calculated dominant coverage of partisan Republican officials across all major news mediums.

This analysis has sought to demonstrate that the stigmatization of the American media and its perceived liberal partiality stems from a series of interrelated factors that include the roles of partisan identification and need for self-validation of political ideology.

As to whether the news media actually contains a discernible liberal or conservative bias; if this study's findings are any indication, it is likely this subject will remain a topic of debate among scholars for decades to come.


The author would like to extend his thanks to Dr. David Copeland at Elon University. His constant guidance, encouragement and advice were integral in helping bring this thesis to fruition. The author is also thankful to Drs. Anthony Hatcher, Richard Landesberg and Byung Lee of Elon University for their support and guidance in the conception and revision of this article.


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