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Lewyn Addresses America

A little politics, a little urbanism- I also blog 100 percent on urbanism at https://www.planetizen.com/user/63 and http://www.cnu.org/blog/194

According to conventional wisdom, something called “the media” is resolutely liberal. But according to a Pew study at http://www.journalism.org/node/26958 , most Republicans have received more favorable media coverage than President Obama.

What’s going on? I suspect that the media outlets that were most important in 1968 (ABC, CBS, NBC and the New York Times) are still to the left of the nation as a whole. (Though I am only exposed to the last of these on a regular basis, so I can’t vouch for the other three).

But these media sources are not nearly as important as they used to be. Cable TV (especially Fox News) has made the traditional “Big 3” virtually irrelevant.

And newspapers have been complemented, if not overshadowed, by a wide variety of websites and by radio (NPR on the left, nearly all of AM radio on the right). Even within the world of newspapers, the Times is balanced out by the Wall Street Journal.

And these sources affect their users for more stretches of time than the news sources of 1968. A typical viewer watched network news for 30 minutes a night, and much of that 30 minutes was apolitical.

By contrast, MSBNC and Fox News are on 24 hours a day, as is right-wing talk radio.

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