Directions

Read the excerpt below (from people-press.org/report/463/media-wants-obama). Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

Voters overwhelmingly believe that the media wants Barack Obama to win the presidential election. By a margin of 70%-9%, Americans say most journalists want to see Obama, not John McCain, win on Nov. 4. Another 8% say journalists don’t favor either candidate, and 13% say they don’t know which candidate most reporters support.  …..

In recent presidential campaigns, voters repeatedly have said they thought journalists favored the Democratic candidate over the Republican. But this year’s margin is particularly wide. At this stage of the 2004 campaign, 50% of voters said most journalists wanted to see John Kerry win the election, while 22% said most journalists favored George Bush. In October 2000, 47% of voters said journalists wanted to see Al Gore win and 23% said most journalists wanted Bush to win. In 1996, 59% said journalists were pulling for Bill Clinton.

In the current campaign, Republicans, Democrats and independents all feel that the media wants to see Obama win the election. Republicans are almost unanimous in their opinion: 90% of GOP voters say most journalists are pulling for Obama. More than six-in-ten Democratic and independent voters (62% each) say the same.

Read the new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press at people-press.org/report/463/media-wants-obama.

Identifying Media Bias

To accurately identify different types of bias, you should be aware of the issues of the day, and the liberal and conservative perspectives on each issue.

Types of Media Bias:

Questions

1.  What do the results of this poll tell you about the media?
b)  Do you think this bias has affected how the media portrays both candidates and how people view the candidates?

2.  a) Do you think that the media is biased in favor of Sen. Obama, in favor of Sen. McCain, or that journalists don’t favor either candidate?  Explain your answer.
b)  Ask a parent the same question.



Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.

Answers

1.  a) The results of this poll show that the media is not doing its job of reporting the news in an objective manner.  As a result, most voters feel they know which candidate the media supports.
b)  Opinion question. Answers vary.

2. Opinion question. Answers vary.