The Times' Ombudsman, Clark Hoyt, wrote an article, "Keeping Their Opinions to Themselves,"
about readers' reactions to Times political coverage, making a couple of interesting points:
- "There is an entire body of scholarship devoted to what social scientists call the 'hostile media' syndrome, the belief of people with strong feelings about an issue -- any issue that the news media are hostile to their side."
- Speaking at a group in Montclair, NJ, Hoyt asked how many felt Times' coverage is biased, and more than half the hands went up. One audience member complained that the Times "always plays up scandals involving Republicans and buries scandals involving Democrats." Hoyt pointed out that the Times broke the Spitzer scandal and published extensive reports on Rep. Charles Rangel. The audience member's response: "I'd call that good journalism."
- Journalists "do have personal biases, and a long line of studies has shown that they tend to be more socially and politically liberal than the population at large...." but Hoyt cited a study that said "a link between reporters' political beliefs and news coverage has never been convincingly established." Just ask Democrats who work for Fox News.
- Toward conflict.
- Toward bad news because it is more exciting than good news, and, obviously,
- Toward what is new.