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BIASING INFLUENCES ON BALANCE IN ELECTION NEWS COVERAGE: AN ASSESSMENT OF NEWSPAPER COVERAGE OF THE 2006 U.S. SENATE ELECTIONS

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Content analysis of newspaper stories covering eleven U.S. Senate races in 2006 showed most stories favoring Democratic and other liberal candidates. Individual stories favored liberal candidates more than Republicans. Newsrooms with greater proportions of women editors were more even in total stories favoring conservative and liberal candidates. Stories covering open races and stories from newsrooms with a greater proportion of women reporters tended to provide more evenly balanced treatment of candidate assertions. Partisanship of a lead was a strong predictor of that story's partisan tilt. Findings suggest that conventions of fairness and balance were not controlling coverage. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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