Think Tank Talk


Not new news but certainly topical around here, "Fairness and Accuracy in Media" (not to be confused with the misleadingly named right wing group "Accuracy in Media") looked at Citations of Think Tanks in Media. Reported in May/June 2006 the study found a drop in think tank cites, primarily from progressive groups.

40 percent of such citations in 2005 were to conservative or center-right groups, 47 percent were to centrist groups and only 13 percent were to center-left or progressive groups.

More below the fold

FAIR’s annual survey of think tank citations in the mainstream media focuses attention on the groups that media turn to for “expert” sources. Rarely described politically when they are quoted (Extra!, 5–6/98), think tank sources often appear as neutral observers of the news, in contrast to partisan politicians and representatives of advocacy groups. If the media have a “liberal” bias, as conservatives have long claimed, then one would expect news outlets to seek out progressive think tanks as sources. However, in the history of this study, begun in 1996, we have instead found a consistent preference for conservative think tanks over progressive ones.

The study found that a precipitous drop in progressive cites coincided with more centrist cites and more cites of far right groups such as the Discovery Institute that rejects scientific evolution.

Of perhaps greater concern to those looking for a more diverse media diet is that citations of left-leaning groups are increasingly from center-left groups rather than unambiguously progressive groups.

Anglico has exposed this bias locally and this study shows it is a national trend. Some of the displacement comes from more centrist groups. Not in itself a bad thing but when media follow the same old pattern of "two sides" and pair up a "far right" think tank with a "centrist" think tank the center of gravity of the artificial debate obviously falls to the right.
A modest suggestion? How about a minimum of "three sides to every story"?

Comments

Three sides!

Great idea. Unfortunately that would require "hard work" so it's not likely to happen. :)

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I picked up one of their magazines

at Borders early in the spring. It's pretty interesting. I thought about subscribing, but it will wait until after election time. It was a very interesting magazine.


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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Think tanks should move to Carrboro

George Lakoff was right, we need more liberal think tanks. If for no other reason than to give media easy access to experts. I have to say that blogs, like bluenc, can act as online think tanks that can provide experts for media to use as sources. Maybe we can promote the authors of sites like this one to the media. How do we more aggressively get local activists/experts on the radar of local/national media?

I heard a Carrboro board of alderman last election season mention that they would like a think tank to move to Carrboro. This sounds like to me an opportunity to work with the most liberal town in NC to have a wonderful home for liberal experts. Why doesn't someone start a new think tank? :-)

The whole idea of escaping dualistic thinking in politics is the same mental exercises practiced by people on a spiritual path. Meditating on the macro and micro being the same thing is hard. But I think Americans can do this. It could create a lot of peace in the world.

Let's see, where is that lottery ticket...

okay, if this bugger hits I'm opening a think tank in Carrboro!

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Dude, we live in a Web 2.0 world...

Hey, you have a distributed think tank here on BlueNC. No bricks-n-mortar to maintain, driving to-and-fro or lunch orders to take - just the finest (whackiest) pajama clad Blue-bees culled from our vast NC-land.

Oh, and unlike waiting for stale position papers, you have a real-time, self-documenting, transparent, semi-Socratic-method system for pulling the best ideas forward.

CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

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CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

CitizenWill
there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right. MLK,Jr. to SCLC Leadership Class

Another link on that

The "What we're NOT looking for" page.

BlueNC as it is constituted doesn't get any dollars, but now that I'm blogging less, I've been thinking more about in what directions this community will continue to grow. There's a lot of potential here: our platform is flexible, our energy level is high, and there are a number of contributors here whose own enthusiasm and creativity seem boundless. I have ideas for the future, but they are still half-baked. Anyone else?

Let's really consider this.

Maybe an off-blog virtual brainstorming session? What is the next frontier?

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me