Study: ‘Hyper-partisan’ lawmakers received 4 times more media coverage

  • "Hyper-partisan" lawmakers received more media coverage, study found
  • The “Starts With Us” CEO says coverage imbalance is “shocking”
  • The group wants to send a message to top media outlets

(NewsNation) — A new study found that “hyper-partisan” politicians received more than four times the media coverage that bipartisan lawmakers did around the time of the 2022 midterm elections.

The study comes from “Starts With Us,” a group that is self-described as a “growing movement of 1.4 million people dedicated to overcoming extreme political and cultural division in America” in conjunction with the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University.

“Starts With Us” says the study shows significant discrepancies in media coverage between lawmakers.

Using a scorecard from the Common Ground Committee, the group shared a graphic identifying Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Rashida Tlaib, Paul Gosar, Maxine Waters, John Kennedy and Norma Torres as “hyper-partisan politicians” and listing Abigail Spanberger, Brian Fitzpatrick, Dean Phillips, Ed Case, Derek Kilmer and Gus Bilirakis as “bipartisan problem solvers.”

The organization claims that top media outlets covered those on their “hyper-partisan politicians” list 316% more than lawmakers on their “bipartisan problem solvers” list. They say Greene received more than double the news coverage of all the lawmakers listed on their “bipartisan problem solvers” list combined.

Why does it matter? “Starts With Us” says coverage patterns can impact Americans since “most hyper-partisan politicians have widespread name recognition, and the most bipartisan remain largely unheard of.”

CEO Tom Fishman says people want to let major media outlets know there’s a “hunger” for the full picture when it comes to political storytelling.

“The sheer scale of the coverage imbalance is shocking,” Tom Fishman, CEO of Starts With Us, shared in a news 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.”

The group is calling on people to sign their petition that asks online news and television programs to look at the study and interview “at least one bipartisan” by the end of April and create a recurring segment before July “as a way of correcting the coverage imbalance.”

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