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The Post’s Photo Bias for Obama

John on August 3, 2008 at 2:07 pm

From Newsbusters, the Washington Post puts some numbers to the obvious:

Barack Obama may be only eight points ahead of John McCain in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, but he’s creaming McCain in the number of pictures and stories published in The Post in the past two months.

[...]

What we found: 122 photos of Obama have been published in the paper during that time to 78 for McCain, counting tiny to big. Most of those photos ran inside the paper; most on the politics page. The Page 1 photos are closer: Obama had nine to McCain’s seven. Five of Obama’s were above the fold; McCain had four. Obama also got more color photos, 72 to 49, and more large photos — mostly those that spanned three or more columns, 30 to 10.

McCain was behind before Obama went to the Middle East and Europe. But during his trip, Obama shellacked McCain on photos. July 25 was the topper — five photos from Obama’s Berlin visit. To begin with, a photo of Obama before a humongous crowd dominated Page 1 — a stunning photo worth the size. Next, on Page A6, another big Obama picture. Next, a large picture of him at the Victory Column on the op-ed page with a Eugene Robinson column. But wait, there was yet another picture of him by the Victory Column on the Style section front and another picture inside Style of Obama talking to reporters. It was a bit much.

[...]

Part of Obama’s visual success in The Post is due to three factors, like them or not — Obama as phenomenon; that he’s photogenic; and good photo opportunities. But none of that gets The Post off the hook for the McCain photo gap. There is no Post policy that the paper must run pictures of equal size and color and quality. But there is the rule that everyone knows: Be fair.

Fair isn’t happening at the post or anywhere else these days. Credit to them for admitting it. I’d love for someone to do a similar examination of the pages of the NY Times.

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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