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What is the relationship between viewers of a particular news source and perceived media bias?

INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES
ANSWER ALL QUESTIONS

Part I: Background Information

1. (2 points) State the research question: 

What is the relationship between viewers of a particular news source and perceived media bias? Rather, does the perception of bias in the news significantly differ between Fox News viewers and CNN viewers? 

2. (2 points) Write a short paragraph that provides some context for the research question.  Why is this an interesting relationship to study?  Why do you expect there to be a relationship between your independent and dependent variable?

It will be interesting to determine whether CNN viewers identify media bias as more or less of an issue than Fox News viewers. I suspect that Fox viewers to perceive there to be more bias in the media because a major talking point for right-leaning political commentators is bias in the media. 

3. (1 point) Cite the dataset you’ll be using (Chicago style):

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Pew Research Center: Factual and Opinion News Statements March 2018 Survey, GfK Group, (Cornell University, Ithaca, NY: Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, 2018), Dataset, DOI: {doi:10.25940/ROPER-31115098}.

4. (1 point) What is the unit of analysis?  

Individuals. Each observation represents a different respondent.

5. (2 points) Complete Table 1.  Only include those variables you’ll be using in your analysis.  Adjust the number of rows as necessary.  Use a meaningful variable name (not a label from your dataset).  

Table 1: Variable Definitions

Variable Name Definition

Perceived.bias Perceived bias of the media (1=favors one side, 0=otherwise/unbiased)

freq_cons Frequency of news media consumption (Most of or all the time=1, Only when something interesting is happening=0)

accuracy Expected accuracy of news stories (largely accuracte=1, largely inaccurate=0

trust Respondent’s level of trust for the media (1=Not at all, 2=Not too much, 3=some, 4=A lot)

medium Whether news was (1=Read, 2=Watched, or 3=Listened to)

inform How informed does the national news media leave the respondent (1=Not at all, 2=Not well, 3=Some, 4=A Lot)

news.source Fox News viewer or CNN viewer

 

Part 2: Descriptive Information

6. (4 points) Complete the table of summary statistics.  Add or delete rows as necessary.

NOTE: If you are examining unordered categorical variables (e.g., race, favorite color) please feel free to modify the table.  For example, for an unordered categorical variable, you could include the mode and number of observations, or you could include the percentage of observations in each category.

Table 2: Summary Statistics

Variable Observations Maximum Mean Standard Deviation N

freq_cons

accuracy

trust

medium

inform

news.source

 Bias

7. (4 points) Create one visualization of the dependent variable (e.g. bar graph, line graph, boxplot, histogram).  Be sure the visualization includes all the critical components, including a title, meaningful axes labels and any other useful labels.   

 

8. (2 points) Write a 1-2 sentence summary of the visualization above.  What is something interesting about the variable that the visualization highlights?

The visualization above shows that a clear majority of the people who favor CNN or FOX News prefer to consume their news media by watching it, either on television or online. It would be interesting to discover whether that has any relationship to their perception of its accuracy. 

 

9. (4 points) Create one visualization of the independent variable of interest (e.g. bar graph, line graph, histogram).  Be sure the visualization includes all the critical components, including a title, meaningful axes labels and any other useful labels.  If you have more than one independent variable of interest, select one for this question.

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