Media Matters Says Florida Newspapers Dominated by Conservative Op-Ed Writers
You may recall that I wrote a bit about the liberal Web site Media Matters' analysis of op-ed columnists around the country. (I asked, for example, how the heck George Will wound up as the nation's most-published columnist?)
Now Media Matters has crunched the numbers for several states, concluding that Florida's newspapers are also dominated by conservatives, with nationally syndicated conservatives reaching the state's readers nearly 4-million more times each week than progressives.
According to their analysis, conservatives appear 121 times each week, compared to 40 appearances by centrists and 75 times for progressive columnists. Cal Thomas is the top columnist in Florida, appearing regularly in 17 different newspapers. The highest progressive on the list, Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts (11 regular newspapers), is also the only person of color among the top ten, though the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page is 11th.
The St. Petersburg Times is shown featuring more progressives than conservatives, with 43 percent of columnists considered progressive and 29 percent considered conservative. Just three other newspapers in the state featured more progressive voices than conservative: The Palm Beach Post, the Ocala Star Banner and the New Smyrna Beach Observer.
According to their study, 80 percent of op-ed columnists featured by the Tampa Tribune are conservative -- only the Winter Haven News Chief, the Villages Daily Sun and the Fort Walton Beach Northwest Florida Daily News had highest percentages of conservative columnists. Only one newspaper among Florida's 38 daily newspapers, the Gainesville Sun, declined to reveal information to the site's researchers or offered no way to track their use of columnists from Washington D.C.
Read the full report here.