(Those familiar with the earlier posts might wish to skip ahead to part III). Ad Fontes Media Chart: REVIEWS OF MEDIA BIAS CHART: HOW BIASED IS IT? When evaluating each article, the analyst made the determination as to the effect of the separate grading considerations on the overall awarded grade. Some faculty, and some students, are apt to be intense lateral readers, whereas others will be dipping into these waters only occasionally, while focusing principally on other academic pursuits. In the second post, I posited that the points along that curve represent, for each source, a maximization point, with the curve as whole depicting the combined equilibria associated with maximal readership or revenue, however derived, along the chart’s two dimensions. The customization function on the interactive chart further allows users to visualize individual article ratings attributed to each selected media source. What are some of the news sources you read most? A couple years ago, patent attorney Vanessa Otero ran into a problem that just about anyone who's active on social media will recognize. Version 5.1 conveys the same data as 5.0, but it does so with fewer overlayed media sources on each page. As with sources that commit to original news reporting, these sources will likewise tend to eschew sensationalistic or salacious coverage for short term gains that arise at the expense of long-term reputations for careful news coverage and analysis. "We'd like to expand to 200, 300, 400 sources pretty soon on an interactive, web-based version. For any three-reader cohort—liberal, moderate, conservative—it is reasonable to assume that two will occupy, in general for a given topic, one or the other ideological position. This, once more, raises the question whether the aggregate independent scoring, as opposed to an imposed cumulative scoring based on the separate component grades, will effect a more Gaussian shape. Because the graphic does not arise from population density plotting, the question arises what accounts for the curve's familiar, and appealing, presentation. Beginning with this newest version, which also includes the interactive version 5.0, Otero pursued what seems the most tractable method, namely having a hired team of committed news analysts that she trained according to her specific ratings methodology using the two dimensional graphic. Goochland: 804.523.5419. "I've taken into account certain criticisms," Otero said. In the second related post, I provided a more comprehensive analysis of the media graphic’s Gaussian shape, which, once more, might be likened to a standard probability distribution function (PDF). An analysis of Nielsen data from the Knight Foundation shows a widening gap between liberals who say they trust the media and conservatives who say they don't. I fundamentally feel that if you're going to put out information that influences people, which this does, you have a responsibility to make it as good as you can.". Even media sources unable to generate original news reporting can nonetheless issue softer commitments corresponding to quality, such as careful opinion and analysis that avoids sensationalism in much the same way. Those endpoints will form the basis for newer anchors, and thus understandings, of the far left and far right positions, onto which a general ideological axis will form. A comprehensive chart of political media, then, could serve as a sort of guide for those who want to make up their own minds. "The stories - when they break, and the spin on them, the takes on them 24 hours later - are really revealing.". The latter will be trained lateral readers, whereas the former might be closer to expert. "I thought it might be helpful to map it - better, worse, left and right - I started piecing it together on my own, just to explain to my friends on Facebook. The Ad Fontes Media project is a long game. "So much of the content that we consume right now is telling you how you should feel about a subject," Otero said. Moderate analysts are not necessarily moderate on each issue, but rather they are apt to hold a mix of relatively liberal and conservative positions, encouraging them to self-identify as moderate, rather than as liberal or conservative overall. And in the context of the media bias chart, it is the in-between ratings that effect the difference between a Gaussian shape versus an inverted “V.”. The more important aspect is the change from Gaussian to inverted “V,” and this gives rise to the following questions: (1) Why has the team of Ad Fontes trained analysts altered the shape from Gaussian to an inverted “V”? To review various versions of the chart, click here. Parham: 804.523.5220 This post focuses version 5.0. Such stories compete, along either side of the ideological spectrum, with other like-biased sources. The graphic was a bit more compact, and although it retained Gaussian shape overall, its defining features were a bit less clearly pronounced. And once more, the comparative data might, over time, might provide helpful information concerning the relationships that give rise to the shape of the curve. In the second post, I observed that the curve’s shape is best understood as a series of equilibrium points across Otero’s two identified, and relevant, dimensions: reliability (y axis) and ideological bias (x axis). This analysis helps to explain the factors that correlate to what we might call the maximand for published (print or on-line) media sources, namely readership and advertising revenue. Why or why not? "There are folks who, if they have this information, would make better choices … as consumers of media first, and then citizens. ; (2) Which shape, if either, more accurately reflects the overall set of relationships among the listed media sources (or, put differently, is one or the other shape, more likely to be “correct”); and. (It’s marginally better than the Reddit guide to fake news, which I discussed a few weeks back.). This implies that now or in the past, the most credible sources invested in considerable start-up costs that can only be justified if, in the case of print sources, the medium has a vast readership, or in the digital context, a sufficient on-line readership to justify the investment and corresponding maintenance costs capable of deriving supportive advertising revenue. As this project further develops, newer data might confirm or falsify these hypotheses, thereby providing the basis for greater insight and analysis. The resulting graphic changed some specific media locations. … I just started recruiting a team of analysts to help me do that. Check website for updates. The original graphic was the product of Vanessa Otero’s subjective impressions concerning reliability and bias, which she then worked toward rendering more scientific with specific valuations as the chart project progressed. And although opinion and analysis are not always entirely distinct (even news coverage sometimes blends into these categories), such enterprises try to identify opinion as such. A chart of media bias. Another feature that characterizes such sources is a figurative (sometimes literal) wall separating the news from opinion divisions. ", "There's a limit to what I can do on my own. This is helpful, especially if, as explained below, neither that or the inverted “V” shape can be claimed as necessarily more accurate. The original graphic was the product of Vanessa Otero’s subjective impressions concerning reliability and bias, which she then worked toward rendering more scientific with specific valuations as the chart project progressed.
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