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A Study of Partisan Bias in Election News on TV-----an analysis to Visual and Language

By 劉惠卿 and Hui-Ching LIU


[[abstract]]《Abstract》 This thesis aims to elaborate whether or not a partisan bias exists in the TV news for the 2008 Presidential Election , and whether it in terms also invokes similar feelings of partisanship in the audience. The audience rating from 7pm to 8pm everyday and used Content Analysis. The thesis analyses TV reports from two TV stations, TVBS-N and SET-N, about three events: “312 Wei-xin incident”, “316 Partisan parades”, and “321 The last campaign night”. These events were caused by either KMT or DPP, the two main political parties in Taiwan, and thus these items included conflicts from different political stance. The research methods are quantitative content analysis and contextual analysis. Based on primetime news during the election period, this paper focuses on three aspects of these reports, the quantity, the rundown, and the semantic turn. The semantic turn refers to the visual presentation and the language used, and the language material includes: news titles, the oral script, and the sound bites. Three results were derived from these methods. First, TVBS-N tends to downplay the negative coverage of the KMT. On the contrary, SET-N tends to exaggerate them. Second, SET-N tends to concentrate on broadcasting positive coverage of the DPP. Third, the headlines and videos used by TVBS-N tend to more friendly to the KMT. Those of SET-N tend to more unfriendly. The research also found: First, as regards the news coverage of the Wei-xin incident, TVBS-N tended to downplay the negative coverage of the KMT and the SET-N tended to exaggerate KMT's negative images. In terms of the semantic turn, the TVBS-N was more friendly to KMT, while SET-N was more unfriendly to KMT in titles and more friendly to DPP in visual presentation. Second, during the KMT and DPP parades, SET-N offered more coverage and sound-bites from the DPP, while the semantic turn was less friendly to the KMT than TVBS. In terms of OS, both TV stations showed friendly attitude toward the DPP. Third, as for the news coverage of the last campaign night, the headline and video footage of TVBS-N was perceived as more favorable toward KMT, while SET-N favored the DPP. In terms of separate items: both TV stations showed almost identical visual presentation, both stations offered news titles favorable to DPP, and the OS of TVBS-N was favorable to KMT while SET-N remained neutral. This research offers a model to examine partisan bias in TV news. Hopefully, the result could help prevent TV stations from being a tool of political propaganda, and also provides academic references for media literacy.

Topics: 電視新聞;政黨偏差;語意向度;媒體識讀, TV News;Partisan Bias;Semantic Turn;Media Literacy, [[classification]]55
Year: 2011
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