New Media Bias

The mission statement of Tim Dunlop’s “Blogjam” series in the Sydney Morning Herald:

The idea is to provide a regular round-up of “what’s happening on the blogs” or “what the blogs are talking about” or something like that. So every week I’m going write a few paras that point to as many blogs as I can reasonably fit in, linking to specific pieces.

Of course, Blogjam has never been anything but an extension of Webdiary’s already far-left biases. I’ve gone through the first nine weeks of the series to rank the balance of left and right leaning blogs promoted there so far.

In the interests of overcompensation, I have decided to lump Troppo Armadillo and Catallaxy in the “Right” of blogdom, which has tended to skew the results a fair bit, due to the fact that those 2 particular blogs make up 2 of the 3-5 right leaning blogs mentioned every week. Many would argue that both blogs are centrist efforts.

Other centrist or apolitical blogs, like Ubersportingpundit and The Spin Starts Here, have not been counted. In addition, blogs unfamiliar to me have not been counted unless their biases were immediately obvious. (I determined the biases predominantly by blogroll. If your blogroll contains Kos, Talkleft, Calpundit et al, but doesn’t include Instapundit, Sullivan..well you’re a lefty. Likewise, if Allah, Tim Blair and LGF appear in the blogroll, you’re on the right.) Only a few blogs were identified in this fashion, most of them have not been counted.

So, let’s take a look at the tally:

Blogjam 1
Right Wing Blogs: 4 Left Wing blogs: 18.

Blogjam 2
Right: 6 Left: 11

Blogjam 3
Right: 7 Left: 7

Blogjam 4
Right: 4 Left: 9

Blogjam 5
Right: 6 Left: 12

Blogjam 6
Right: 7 Left: 14

Blogjam 7
Right: 3 Left: 12

Blogjam 8
Right: 3 Left: 14

Blogjam 9
Right: 3 Left: 15

Total Right: 43
Total Left: 112

Left-leaning links outnumber right-leaning ones by a factor of close to 3-1. At least half of the 43 right-leaning links are to Catallaxy and/or Ken Parish. The multitude of remaining right-leaning bloggers in Australia make up the rest.

In addition, Blogjam 9 seems to violate Tim Dunlop’s linking policy (No Tim Blair links – EVER), described herein:

My opinion on this is that TB is a professional journalist working for a rival organisation and who, as well, spends an inordinate amount of time slagging off Margo. I think it would, therefore, be inappropriate to give him space in blogjam.

Yet, this weeks Blogjam writer, Sedgewick, has a gushing review of Anti-US Iraqi blogger Salam Pax:

“the most famous and most mysterious blogger in the world?Salam Pax was the Anne Frank of the war?and its Elvis.” Australian blogging’s ‘Salam Pax’ has yet to enter the building.

Salam Pax may not spend a large amount of time slagging off Margo, but he is in fact a journalist working for a rival organisation. Shouldn’t that disqualify him from being linked?

Of course, Australia can’t really have a Salam Pax, since we aren’t presently a war zone. If you treat it as a word association game though, wherein Iraqi Blogger::Salam Pax, Australia’s “Salam Pax” is obvious to anyone. Since Blogjam isn’t allowed to mention him though, they’ll just go on pretending he is “yet to enter the building”.

The most annoying thing about all this is, if I worked for the ABC, they’d pay me a million dollars a year to do this stuff.

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