One week has past since a challenger accused my Media Bias project, which clearly demonstrates that the notion of the Canadian media being “leftist” or even “centrist” is a myth, of itself being biased. Said challenger, as you can see in the comments section, declared his intention to supply me with a list of major Canadian columnists, grouped by political affiliation, proving that Canadian newspapers were left-wing after all.
So far the promised list of columnists hasn’t arrived. I’m not holding my breath, but “rory,” whomever he is, is still welcome to come forward and surprise the hell out of me. In the meantime, here’s how the restarted and much expanded bias project statistics stand over the past week.
The Media Bias project avoids getting into unending debate about whether someone is really “left” or “right” or “centre” or “centre right,” ad nauseam, by simply counting up guest contributors to newspaper editorial pages based upon the position they are speaking from. If they’re from a conservative or liberal political party, I label them as conservative or liberal, respectively. If they’re from a progressive NGO or union, or a social conservative religious rights group, or a free-market think tank, they get labelled accordingly. How you want to plot those on the political spectrum is up to you.
So, on that basis, here’s how guest space gets allocated on the op-ed pages of the nation’s major newspapers, and I challenge you to explain how this data can be massaged to show that the media is somehow left-wing (and leaving aside the fact that any newspaper that has a business section and not a labour section by definition cannot be a left-wing newspaper):
- Business associations, consultants, and free-market think tanks — 21%
- Conservative politicians and insiders — 16%
- Progressive NGOs, unions, and environmentalists — 12%
- Liberals politicians and insiders — 7%
- Social conservative and religious groups — 7%
- NDP politicians and insiders — 4%
Numbers don’t add up to 100% because around one-third of contributors are freelance writers and others with no formal connections to organizations within any of my categories.
No doubt there are some people who fit into the social conservative category who will instantly leap forward to protest that they’re as oppressed as the Liberals, and that’s true. All I can say to you, social conservatives, is that I’m sorry. You’re being played for chumps by the business community. The Conservative parties across this country know full well who signs their paycheques.
Statistics on the main Media Bias page will be adjusted at the end of the month. At that time a spreadsheet will be posted containing my data. The process will be repeated in subsequent months.Tweet