PBS denies the charge of biased reporting

New report: Pubcasting is biased — in favor of the right.

PBS’ “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer” has cited Republican sources twice as many times as Democratic sources, and minorities constitute only 15% of sources, according to a study released by lefty watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting.

Study, which covered the six months between October 2005 and March , alleges pubcasting’s flagship news show “fails to provide either balance or diversity of perspectives or a true public-minded alternative to its corporate competition.”

PBS denied the charge.

Other findings include male sources outnumbering women by more than 4-to-1, and fact that almost 75% of all American sources and guests were white men, while women of color accounted for only 6%.

Also, “at a time when a large proportion of the U.S. public already favored withdrawal from Iraq, ‘stay-the-course’ sources outnumbered pro-withdrawal sources more than 5-to-1,” study said. “In the entire six months studied, not a single peace activist was heard on ‘NewsHour’ on the subject of Iraq.”

Pubcasting has long been a target of conservatives who say its news and public affairs programming have a liberal bias. But just as PBS has disputed its conservative critics, the org dismissed this attack.

“As a national news source, ‘NewsHour’ provides in-depth information and analysis about developments and policy decisions affecting broad groups of American citizens,” org said in a statement. ” ‘NewsHour’ strives to provide a political balance and will continue to offer diverse views and opinions surrounding the top national news stories. Research has shown that viewers overwhelmingly agree that ‘NewsHour’ offers the most balanced news on television.”

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