Is there “definitely media bias” in the presidential campaign?

GOP Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, this past Sunday:

“It goes without saying that there is definitely media bias. I think most people in the mainstream media are left of center and, therefore, they want a very left-of-center president versus a conservative president like Mitt Romney.”

Current results from an on-going, intensive media bias coding project being conducted by my GOV 330 “Parties, Campaigns, and Elections” students, in which my students are coding headline articles in all the country’s major newspapers on a daily basis from Aug. 29, 2012 – Sept. 27, 2012 (237 separate articles so far), looking for positive/negative/neutral mentions of Romney/Ryan or Obama/Biden:

  Romney/Ryan Obama/Biden t-test p=
Positive 18.6% 21.6% 0.11
Negative 53.6% 53.7% 0.98
Neutral 27.8% 24.7% 0.16

In other words, there very little empirical evidence that “there is definitely media bias” in this election, at least during the month of September 2012.

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