Potter College News
Dr. Rich Shumate examines perception of liberal media bias in new book
- Thursday, September 9th, 2021
Why do U.S. political conservatives so firmly believe that the news media have a liberal bias? Dr. Rich Shumate explores that question in his new book, Barry Goldwater, Distrust in Media, and Conservative Identity: The Perception of Liberal Bias in the News, published by Lexington Books.
Shumate explores the origins of the perception by positing a social identity explanation, rather than wading into the highly subjective quagmire of trying to measure bias. Through an examination of media coverage of the emergence of movement conservatism in the early 1960s he posits that conservatives’ need to foster and maintain social identity as conservatives led them to perceive content from elite news media outlets as biased when it did not validate the way they say the world, deeming it hostile and, by extension, “liberal.”
“As we all saw after January 6th, conservatives refused to believe news media reports of a fair and fraud-free election, after being primed by nearly six decades of believing the media had a liberal bias,” Shumate said. “This research sheds light on why this perception persists, which is the key step in trying to cope with its effects.”
Shumate is an assistant professor in the School of Media at Western Kentucky University and veteran journalist, including 10 years as a news editor and web writer at CNN. He holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Florida and a M.A. in Journalism from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.
The book can be ordered through Lexington Books at https://Rowman.com/Lexington. ISBN 978-1-7936-2078-1 for hardback, ISBN 978-1-7936-2079-8 for ebook.
Contact: Dr. Rich Shumate, firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 413-7812