Media Bias And Declining Audiences

Dave Killion — July 9, 2012

One hears quite frequently about the decline of mainstream media, as TV audiences shrink and subscribers abandon print media in droves. Obviously, the internet is to blame… or is it?

“In 2011, the only national newspaper that increased its circulation was the Wall Street Journal, a resolute opponent of state intervention in the economy. The WSJmay not be every libertarian’s cup of tea, but we have to give them this: they are, with Investor’s Business Daily, one of the few national conservative dailies left in the country.

Similarly, Fox News has a notable anti-liberal slant, and gathers almost four times as many watchers as the combined CNN, MSNBC, and HLN (5.7 million vs. 1.5). Are we seeing a pattern here?

I have had leftist acquaintances insist that there is no liberal bias in the media. Well, I am a libertarian, and therefore vulnerable only to libertarian confirmation bias. Being impervious to leftist or rightist confirmation bias, I can assure you there is most certainly a liberal bias in the media. The author makes the argument that the ‘Moneyed Media’, being largely modern-liberal, serve an audience that comprises only 15% of the population. The rest of the population is simply turning away from what it sees as a bunch of elite sycophants.

I find the argument intriguing, but the media has been slanted for an awfully long time, and audiences of all stripes stayed with it. So why would the masses start turning away after all this time? I think the internet is still the likely answer, as it has provided a means for the other 85% of the population to get its information from a slant more to our liking. If I’m wrong, then there will be more libertarian and conservative voices on TV and in newspapers and magazines arising as the market works its magic. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Leave a Comment

Disclaimer: The articles and opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Libertarian Book Club.