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Hyper-Partisan Politicians Receive 4 Times More Media Coverage Than Other Politicians

CEO of the surveying organization says, 'The sheer scale of the coverage imbalance is shocking'

During the 2022 midterm election cycle, hyper-partisan politicians received four-times more media coverage than moderate politicians, according to a new study released from a nonprofit advocacy organization.

The study, conducted by Starts With Us and the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University, looked at active members across the U.S. House of Representative and Senate, audited America’s top online and broadcast news outlets, and analyzed the quantity of media coverage politicians received between Oct. 8 and Dec. 8, 2022.

Based on the data collected, the three most hyper-partisan politicians included Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.).

The three least partisan politicians were Reps. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.).

“The sheer scale of the coverage imbalance is shocking,” Tom Fishman, CEO of Starts With Us, said in a press release. “We understand that media is a business, and partisan voices warrant a place in the coverage. But when the crucial work of bipartisan problem solving gets this dramatically overlooked, citizens despair and disengage. We’re rallying our community to let the media know there’s a hunger for the full picture, and we’re committed to amplifying those stories.”

Starts With Us worked with Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that promotes bipartisan conversations, to identify the politicians analyzed in the study. The groups say a number of measures were used to determine the rankings, including whether the lawmaker worked on bipartisan legislation, how they publicly converse, and their motivation to find common ground.

According to the scorecard results, Greene “generated nearly 10 times more coverage during the studied time frame than Bacon, appearing in 335 news items compared to Bacon’s 34. Greene also received more than double the news coverage of all of the bipartisan politicians in the study combined,” the organization says.

“When I worked at MSNBC, our job was to do whatever was necessary to keep the audience watching, and that usually meant choosing stories that stoked anger and portrayed a divided America — which pushes people further into their political tribes,” Ariana Pekary, a media entrepreneur and Starts With Us Movement Partner, said in the press release. “Reimagining what the news looks like will take a commitment from both the media and the American public.”

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