Monday, August 9, 2010

Where You Live Might Impact Reporting On Gay Marriage

In a study that will be released in next months Social Science Journal, newspaper reports from the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune were compared over the course of two years. In Chicago - the paper emphasised morality more than legal equality. In New York on the other hand - the paper emphasised equality over moral issues. Very interesting...read more at the Calgary Herald


"In terms of the big picture, the two newspapers looked at gay marriage very differently: one from the perspective of human equality, one from the perspective of human morality," says study co-author Juan Meng, assistant professor of public relations at the University of Dayton, in Ohio. 
Researchers examined 120 news stories published by the papers between Nov. 2002 and Nov. 2004. That is, the year before and the year after gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts. 
Leading up to legalization, 33.6 per cent of stories sampled from the Times focused on equal rights, compared to the Tribune's 19.1 per cent. By contrast, 17.5 per cent of the Times coverage emphasized tradition and family values, versus the Tribune's 22.2 per cent. 
The Times highlighted religion in 11.9 per cent of gay marriage stories, while the Tribune did so in 19.8 per cent.
The year following legalization, the Times began quoting dramatically more sources identified as gay — 20 per cent, compared with 5.4 per cent before the ruling — while the Tribune stayed somewhat consistent, rising to 11.8 per cent from 10 per cent.

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