Saturday, December 4, 2010

News media manipulated on ACORN: study

If you think you know what happened to ACORN, the network of community organizations attacked by politicians and video bloggers over the last few years, check out Michael Schudson and Julia Sonnevend's article “In ACORN’s Shadow” in the new Columbia Journalism Review.

Schudson, a professor at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, and Sonnevend, a Ph.D. student, examined a political science journal article summarizing a study 647 stories about ACORN during 2007-08, and they found that ACORN’s alleged voter fraud “was absurdly hyped for partisan advantage; the national media were steamrolled into promoting ... a ‘disingenuous controversy’; and ACORN twisted in the wind.”

Analysts Peter Dreier and Christopher R. Martin found that the press was "taken in all too easily by a very effective group of 'opinion entrepreneurs largely indifferent to facts or fairness."