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POSC 437: Mass Media and Politics

Research guide for students enrolled in POSC 437.


Listed below are organizations and online resources devoted to analyzing television news and investigating bias in the media.

  • Accuracy in Media -- a non-profit watchdog group with critiques inaccurate news reports. The organization encourages members of the media to report the news fairly and objectively—without resorting to bias or partisanship.
  • AllSides -- an organization devoted to exposing bias and provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant.
  • Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications -- an organization that promotes the highest possible standards for journalism and mass communication education.
  • Center for Media and Public Affairs -- a non-partisan organization that performs scientific studies of news and entertainment media. They "study the important role the media plays in communicating information about health risks and scientific issues." They provide an "empirical basis for debates over media fairness and impact through well documented, timely, and readable studies of media content.
  • Center for News Literacy -- a curriculum developed at Stony Brook University in New York over the past decade designed to help students develop critical thinking skills in order to judge the reliability and credibility of information, whether it comes via print, television, or the Internet.
  • Emergent -- a real-time rumor tracker. It's part of a research project with the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University that focuses on how unverified information and rumor are reported in the media. It aims to develop best practices for debunking misinformation.
  • Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) -- a national progressive media watch group, has been offering criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986 by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints..
  • First Draft News -- offers quick reference resources, case studies, and best practice recommendations intended to improve skills and standards in the reporting and sharing of information that emerges online. First Draft formed as a nonprofit coalition to raise awareness and address challenges relating to trust and truth in the digital age.
  • The National Communication Association -- a not-for-profit organization that promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.
  • Nieman Journalism Lab -- supported by Harvard University, this center offers fellowships, awards, and events that explores the future of journalism in the Internet age. Its initiatives include the Nieman Reports, Nieman Lab, and Nieman Storyboard.
  • Pew Research Center State of the News Media -- an independent, non-partisan public opinion research organization that studies attitudes toward politics, the press and public policy issues. The site contains links to the Center's survey data.
  • Poynter -- a non-profit journalism school based in St. Petersburg, Florida. In addition to offering free training to journalists and journalism students through its News University, Poynter offers articles on media analysis on its main site.
  • Project for Excellence in Journalism -- a joint effort by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Committee of Concerned Journalists, this site is part of an "initiative by journalists to clarify and raise they standards of American journalism" and is for anyone interested in journalism and not for journalists alone.
  • PunditFact -- a project of the Tampa Bay Times and Poynter dedicated to checking the accuracy of claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers, political analysts, the hosts and guests of talk shows, and other members of the media.
  • Society of Professional Journalists -- this organization is dedicated to the idea of a free press as the "cornerstone of our nation and our liberty." Their mission is to improve and protect journalism in America.
  • Television News Archive/Television Explorer -- allows you to keyword search the closed captioning streams of the Archive's six years of American television news and explore macro-level trends in how America's television news is shaping the conversation around key societal issues.
  • Verification Handbook -- a new resource for journalists and aid responders, which provides step-by-step guidelines for using user-generated content (UGC) during emergencies. The Handbook prescribes best practice advice on how to verify and use this information provided by the crowd, as well as actionable advice to facilitate disaster preparedness in newsrooms.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites.