It was another banner month for the so-called “liberal media” in this country. In May, the opinion pages of 20 of the country’s major English-language newspapers featured a grand total of 160 op-eds contributed by conservatives and business groups, compared with just 99 op-eds contributed by progressives, a category which for this analysis includes both Liberals and NDP.
The Sixth Estate Media Bias Project started in April as a way of measuring whether it was really true — as it is so often claimed — that this country is dominated by a liberal, left-wing media. That may be the case, but if so, it’s pretty hard to find any evidence for it. With one exception, all of the major English papers explicitly asked Canadians to vote for the Conservative Party last spring. Since then, as the Media Bias Study shows, they have consistently allotted far greater editorial space to conservative party representatives and business groups than to progressive groups, labour unions, the NDP, and the Liberal Party — not exactly a bastion of progressivism — combined.
I first noticed this trend in April, and it continued in May, as you can see from the following chart, which shows the percentages of all the op-ed articles in the 20 newspapers whose authors fit into a conservative or progressive category. This includes only outside special op-ed contributors, not in-house columnists and professional journalists. To measure bias amongst professional paid columnists, there’s a whole separate section of the Media Bias project which is coming together.
Social conservatives should also take note of these results. It is the business sector, not the social conservatives, which actually dominate the major papers of the nation. Both sides of the ideological turf war are getting played for chumps, folks. When I say that “conservative” groups — meaning market groups, social conservative groups, and conservative political parties — dominated the media, I want to be clear here that some conservatives are more influential than others. Social conservatives are being told by their political leaders that the leftists are to blame for the continued failure to get their dreamed-of policies of social control implemented. They should look closer to home for the real source of the trouble. The business community does not care about abortion or government transparency or privacy from Big Brother.
The newspapers used in this study range from coast to coast and across several chains. They include the Globe & Mail, the National Post, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, the Toronto Star, and the Winnipeg Free Press. For full details, visit the Media Bias Project. Fairly soon now, I will have more than enough data to begin presenting profile charts of specific newspapers. As you have no doubt already guessed, some papers lean distinctly more to the right than others do.
Readers should be aware that the rumours of future paywalls may require changes to be made to the Media Bias Project. Nobody is financing this study and I cannot subscribe to all the major newspapers in the country just for the sake of a few interesting blog posts. If worst comes to worst, the study will have to be shut down.Tweet