A Column Feeds Perceptions of Bias

Publication: The Washington Post

Author: Andrew Alexander

05/03/2009 - Thursday seemed like Valentine's Day to some Post readers, who felt a Style section piece on President Obama's news conference Wednesday was little more than a mash note.

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The reaction, coming as Obama marked his 100th day in office, serves as a reminder that a large swath of The Post's readership sees pro-Obama bias. Each month I receive hundreds of e-mails and calls insisting that the paper is reflexively partial to the president.

Critics gained ammunition last week when a study concluded that Obama "has enjoyed substantially more positive media coverage than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush during their first months in the White House."

Conducted by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, the survey was based on a sampling of stories on network television newscasts and in national publications, including The Post.

The study found that "positive stories about Obama have outweighed negative by two-to-one"—42 percent to 20 percent—while 38 percent were neutral or mixed. At my request, Pew broke out data for The Post.

Read the full article A Column Feeds Perceptions of Bias on the Washington Post's Web site.

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