Moderate voices muted in political news

September 6, 2012

While commentators and scholars argue that political groups have become more polarized in the US, a new study finds that moderate political groups are not as well covered in newspaper articles as more radical right and left-wing groups. This study is found in a recent article from Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, a SAGE journal and an official journal of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

“Extremes are more intuitively novel, entertaining, and colorful, representing another common news value,” wrote the authors of the study, Michael McCluskey and Young Mie Kim. “Moderate voices may be more difficult to portray as exciting than extreme voices.”

McCluskey and Kim examined 208 political advocacy groups that represented a range of political ideologies as they were represented across 118 newspapers. They found that groups that expressed more polarized opinions on political issues were mentioned in larger newspapers, appeared earlier in articles, and were mentioned in more paragraphs.

The authors wrote, “More people had the opportunity to note those groups, fueling perceptions of those groups as important or legitimate.”

The authors also pointed out that moderate views are less easy to define than more radical opinions and that discussing extreme views make it easier to explain the issue at hand.

###

Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly (JMCQ) is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal that focuses on research in journalism and mass communication. Each issue features reports of original investigation, presenting the latest developments in theory and methodology of communication, international communication, journalism history, and social and legal problems.
Impact Factor: 0.542
Ranked: 48 out of 72 in Communication
Source: 2011 Journal Citation ReportsĀ® (Thomson Reuters, 2012)

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology, and medicine. An independent company, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. www.sagepublications.com

Contact: Camille Gamboa
camille.gamboa@sagepub.com
805-410-7441
SAGE Publications


Comments

Got something to say? **Please Note** - Comments may be edited for clarity or obscenity, and all comments are published at the discretion of ChattahBox.com - Comments are the opinions of the individuals leaving them, and not of ChattahBox.com or its partners. - Please do not spam or submit comments that use copyright materials, hearsay or are based on reports where the supposed fact or quote is not a matter of public knowledge are also not permitted.