Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis analyzed a year’s worth of transcripts from major US broadcasters in order to analyze political bias in the newsroom.
What they found shouldn’t necessarily surprise:
Using the Contrast Analysis of Semantic Similarity (CASS) text analysis software, the researchers evaluated 12 months’ worth of transcripts from MSNBC, FOX and CNN. Confirming their hypotheses and validating the CASS method, FOX demonstrated a conservative bias, while MSNBC exhibited a liberal leaning. CNN fell squarely in between.
Exciting though is their release of the software they used. Called CASS, it can be downloaded at CASSTools.org.
The researchers offer some caution though.
“You can’t read someone’s 300-word blog post and make a grand inference about them as a person,” lead author Nicholas Holtzman tells Washington University. “We had 50 million words in one of our text totals. The others were between 5 and 10 million.”