Patterico's Pontifications

4/21/2015

The Political Identification Of Journalists And Newspaper News

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:20 pm



[guest post by Dana]

With campaign season officially underway, GOP contenders are already facing the MSM in all its “gotcha question” glory. As such, here is an interesting look at a recent study out of the School of Journalism, Indiana University.

The study did not reveal any surprises, instead reflecting what most readers have known for a long time (if not the specific numbers): only 7% of American journalists identify as Republicans. And while most journalists see themselves as independents, “among those who choose a side, Democrats outnumber Republicans four to one.”

From the study:

Compared with 2002, the percentage of full-time U.S. journalists who claim to be Democrats has dropped 8 percentage points in 2013 to about 28 percent, moving this figure closer to the overall population percentage of 30 percent, according to a December 12-15, 2013, ABC News/Washington Post national poll of 1,005 adults. This is the lowest percentage of journalists saying they are Democrats since 1971. An even larger drop was observed among journalists who said they were Republicans in 2013 (7.1 percent) than in 2002 (18 percent), but the 2013 figure is still notably lower than the percentage of U.S. adults who identified with the Republican Party (24 percent according to the poll mentioned above).

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It seems nobody is happy with the either the Republican party or the Democrat party these days.

Given that, journalist Michael Walsh provides an astute clarification of “independent” self-identification and “independent” voter:

a) “independent” is how most journalists I know and have known would describe themselves and b) in the ballot box, they will overwhelmingly vote for the Democrat.

And since we’re talking journalism, media, newspapers…politics

The Los Angeles Times announced today that Obama aide Johanna Maska has been hired to be the vice president of marketing and communications. Maska spent eight years working for Obama and will make the transition from White House to LAT on May 1.

From the publisher:

“Johanna is uniquely skilled to help us bring the stories in the L.A. Times and the story of the L.A. Times to the world,” said Austin Beutner, publisher and chief executive of The Times.

From the White House:

“Over the last eight years, Johanna has traveled around the globe with the President, his team and the White House press corps executing events that have helped this President to deliver a compelling message to the American people,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

“She thrives when the pressure and the stakes are high, and it’s why she’ll have so much to offer as she confronts a new set of challenges with her new team.”

Maska spoke about joining the LAT and the importance of an independent press:

Traveling with the President, I saw what countries without a vibrant free press look like. At our first Summit of Americas, in Trinidad and Tobago, I watched Hugo Chavez lead a pack of paparazzi into a private setting so that he could shape his own image. At another summit, in L’Aquila, Italy I saw Muammar Gaddafi driving in an electric car with his own handlers, while media swarmed him — but never got an answer to a question.

Without a robust press pushing the boundaries of power, absolute power will corrupt absolutely. And that is precisely why we need organizations like the LA Times to survive.

I love technology: how a brave bystander can take video of injustice, how we can all take part in a dialogue online with our leaders, and how we can all communicate directly.

Also, Maska is married to a reporter for the Associated Press.

–Dana

21 Responses to “The Political Identification Of Journalists And Newspaper News”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (86e864)

  2. Traveling with the President, I saw what countries without a vibrant free press look like. At our first Summit of Americas, in Trinidad and Tobago, I watched Hugo Chavez lead a pack of paparazzi into a private setting so that he could shape his own image. At another summit, in L’Aquila, Italy I saw Muammar Gaddafi driving in an electric car with his own handlers, while media swarmed him — but never got an answer to a question.

    “Working for the President, I saw how journalists can be easily kept in line with basic wiretaps, subpoenas, and threats.”

    JVW (a1146f)

  3. ‘Twas indeed a fine statement Ms. Maska made, allowing that the LAT is not part of a robust press and that herself was was no more than a handler for Himself.

    kishnevi (91d5c6)

  4. I also saw how easy it was to confine journalists the storage rooms and to follow them to the restrooms. I also took “Phone confiscation 101.”

    Gazzer (758566)

  5. Just hit me how American vernacular use is creating a word that is almost identical to the German/Yiddish word for someone who makes their living by selling stuff:handler (although the Yiddish word usually connotes someone proficient at bargaining over prices and is pronounced with an o, not an a.)

    kishnevi (9c4b9c)

  6. Not “the”; “to”, sheesh!

    Gazzer (758566)

  7. a) “independent” is how most journalists I know and have known would describe themselves and b) in the ballot box, they will overwhelmingly vote for the Democrat.

    That’s why the poll should have instead asked respondents to identify themselves as — or included a corollary survey of whether they are — liberal, moderate or conservative. Although most Democrats are of the left, and most Republicans are of the right, the label of “independent” is more ambiguous today than ever before, and can easily be a euphemism for “liberal” or “leftwing.”

    Traveling with the President, I saw what countries without a vibrant free press look like.

    Yet members of her ideological ilk tend to be not all that bothered by the supposed free press in the US (if not elsewhere too) having a fairly incestuous relationship with the left, so the gap between what she presumably is bothered by in places like Venezuela and what goes on in this country isn’t all that wide.

    Mark (607f93)

  8. “Other” is the real standout here. That’s 3rd Party, not “independent”. Now, it could be Libertarian, but my money is on “Green” or “Working Families” or CPUSA. I am willing to bet that an actual Communist Party member would fit in at the NY Times better than a Tea Party Republican.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  9. that’s okay, the GOP candidates will just go to a debate moderated by Johanna Maska

    seeRpea (1427f4)

  10. More interesting would be who they donated to.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  11. What’s interesting in the graph that Dana provides is what isn’t there: the percentage of reporters who would have listed themselves as Democrat in 1975, 1977, 2007 or 2009. The number of journalists who identify as Democrats is at it lowest in 1971, the year before Nixon romped to reelection; 2002, in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks when Bush’s favorability was at it’s highest; and 2013, when Obama was safely reelected and the dysfunction and intellectual rot of his party and agenda was on full display. It’s at it’s highest in 1992 when they were working overtime to convince us that a young governor from Arkansas was FDR, JFK, and Truman all rolled into one.

    Is there much doubt that a similar survey in 1975 or 2009 would have shown somewhere around 50% of reporters identifying as Democrats? And Michael Walsh is undoubtedly correct that the current jump in independents to a self-reported 50% (and the corresponding drop in Democrats) is just journalists who are pretending to be thoughtful and open-minded but will naturally pull the donkey lever next time they slither into the voting booth. I agree too that the 14.6% who now claim to support “other” parties are almost certainly skewed more towards Greens, Progressives, Working Families, and Social Democrats rather than Libertarians or American Consitiutionalists.

    JVW (a1146f)

  12. I am not sure which was more amusing, the comoletely self-unaware bibble babble from Maska, or JournoLists claiming to be independent.

    JD (3b5483)

  13. It’s Indiana University, not the University of Indiana. Is that so hard?

    Dan M. (3c4831)

  14. oh goodness where dem pups

    happyfeet (831175)

  15. I guess that we’ll see just what a wonderful job Miss Maska will do in increasing the circulation and profitability of the Los Angeles Times.

    Normally, the rats flee a sinking ship . . . .

    The citizen jurnalist Dana (f6a568)

  16. Dan @ 13,

    Thank you for kindly pointing that out. The post has been corrected.

    Dana (86e864)

  17. Maska spent eight years working for Obama and will make the transition from White House to LAT on May 1

    Isn’t pupa to larva bassackwards? In any case, that should take milliseconds.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  18. The much better-looking Dana wrote:

    Dan @ 13,

    Thank you for kindly pointing that out. The post has been corrected.

    Nobody really cares about Indiana University anyway.

    The University of Kentucky alumnus Dana (f6a568)

  19. they do focus like a laser beam, and some on our side, provide the lasers on some occasions:

    http://weaselzippers.us/221392-media-jump-on-clinton-book-authors-ties-to-sarah-palin/

    narciso (ee1f88)

  20. My GOD! A book critical of Hillary was written by a REPUBLICAN!!11!!

    I am glad I was sitting down when I saw that. Normally, political books are written by eunuchs and apolitical zen masters. You know, like all those books about Palin and W and such.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  21. As usual, the content of the book will not be judged. Only the political affiliation of the author.

    JD (3b5483)


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