25 May 2007

"Lower 48 Bias"

My co-worker David has an interesting post on a new sort of news bias he's identified in the mass media: the lower-48 bias:

So you'd think that the problems faced in Alaska - objectively worse, when it comes to gas, than almost anywhere else in America - would merit at least a phrase or two in the AP story that keeps getting such fantastic airplay on ABC News. After all, our state is by far the biggest in the nation; we're as wide as the distance from Tallahassee, Florida to San Francisco, and twice the size of Texas. And plus, we provide a substantial proportion of the national oil; just one region in Alaska (Prudhoe Bay) provides 17% of our domestic production alone. Right?

But I guess AP just couldn't fit us in. Either that, or their conception of "national news" is about the same as they held in December 1958, when the "nation" still meant the 48 contiguous states from Maine to California.
Check it out.

1 comment:

Deirdre Helfferich said...

A "new" bias? Where you been, sonny? This Lower-48 bias has been around as long as I can remember. As long as Alaska's been publishing news, so far as I can tell, looking at historic newspaper articles, too. National news is Outside news; in the national news, we're some other place, notable for oil and gold and wildlife and cold, but not for being part of the US. We're just some possession somewhere.