Pew Study: News Stories Focused on Pro-Same Sex Marriage

Content analysis finds stories focused on supporters outweigh opponents 5-1; Fox has most stories that were either even or expressed no opinion

Of nearly 500 news stories on same-sex marriage examined for
a
new Pew Research study,
those focused on support outnumbered those focused
on opposition by about 5 to 1, whether those were opinion pieces or news
stories.

All told, of stories that aired March 18-May 12, while the
Supreme Court was debating the issue, 47% of stories focused on support, while
9% largely focused on opposition and 44% were "fairly even" or
provided no views at all.

Expressions of support in stories supporting classified as
supporting had to outnumber opposition by at least 2-1, according to Pew.

Among the cable news outlets, MSNBC led the list at 64%
supporting; 30% mixed, and 6% opposing, with CNN next at 39% supporting, 57% mixed
and 4% opposing. Fox came in at 29% supporting, 63% mixed, and 8% opposing.

"This study shows how same-sex marriage supporters have
had a clear message and succeeded in getting that message across all sectors of
mainstream media," said Amy Mitchell, acting director for Pew Research Center's
Project for Excellence in Journalism, in a statement. "In addition, many of the
events during the period studied, such as announcements by politicians and
state legislation, reflect movement toward same-sex marriage."

The report, from Pew Research Center's Project for
Excellence in Journalism, was a content analysis by researchers looking at news
media coverage of same-sex marriage from March 18 through May 12, 2013.

The study looked at a sample of on-air and print
outlets -- major newspapers, cable and network nightly newscasts -- and online
news sites, both mainstream and LGBT. This report was a part of Pew's LBGT in
Changing Times series.