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Evidence for those who believe media is biased with gay news

People walking with Alaska Airlines wait for the start of the annual Portland Pride Parade in downtown Portland Sunday. (Photo by Molly J. Smith/The Oregonian)

Media reports are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage, according to Pew Research which analyzed news content for two months.

Pew found while some stories contained either a balanced mix of views or no opinion about the topic presented, the majority were skewed toward support for same-sex marriage.

Stories with more statements supporting same-sex marriage outweighed those with more statements opposing it by a margin of roughly 5-to-1.

In the coverage Pew studied, the main argument among proponents of same-sex marriage was one of civil rights. Arguments against were more varied, but most often voiced the idea that same-sex marriage would hurt society and the institution of traditional marriage.

The organization looked at 500 stories from March 18 through May 12. Almost half – 47 percent – primarily focused on support for the measure, while 9 percent focused on opposition and about 44 percent had a balanced mix of both viewpoints or were neutral.

Incidentally, in order for a story to be classified as supporting or opposing same sex marriage, statements expressing that position had to outnumber the opposite view by at least 2-to-1. Stories that did not meet that threshold were defined as neutral or mixed.

Twitter postings on the subject were nearly evenly split between support and opposition for the measure, aligning much more closely with public opinion than with the news media.


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