Communication professor publishes chapter in “Media Bias” book

Most Americans are convinced the media are biased. If it’s true, what’s to be done?That’s a central question in Media Bias, Finding It, Fixing It, a new book by McFarland & Company, that includes a chapter on “Ideology” by a Campbell University professor.Michael Ray Smith of the Department of Mass Communication is featured in chapter two of this book where scholars examine the many prevailing arguments about media bias from a non-polemical perspective. Essays cover individual forms of bias, including ideology, politics, television, photography, religion, abortion, homosexuality, gender, race, crime, environment, region, military, corporate ownership, labor and health.Each essay introduces the topic, presents arguments for and against the specific bias, assesses the evidence for all arguments, and includes a list of suggested readings. Two additional essays discuss the broader aspects of the bias debate and give a personal perspective on reporting the controversial Israeli-Palestinian conflict.In addition, Smith has been invited to speak on the subject of media bias by the Institute of Political Journalism in Washington, D.C. Smith will speak at 9 a.m. and participate in a panel discussion at 10 a.m. on March 31 at an institute conference held at the Clarion Hotel in Raleigh.Editor William David Sloan, a professor of journalism at the University of Alabama, invited Smith to write the chapter for the book. Smith has contributed chapters to Sloan’s American Journalism, History, Principles, Practices (2002) and Media and Religion in American History (1999). Jenn Burleson Mackay of University of Alabama helped Sloan edit Media Bias.In his chapter, Smith reviews survey research on the backgrounds of journalists and explores the size of media companies including newspapers. He alludes to the Daily Record in Dunn on pages 27-28 and notes the newspaper’s consistently high circulation as part of its tendency for the content to “reflect the values of the community.”Smith ends his chapter with a series of suggestions for consumers of mass media.”Be vigilant in their media diet and monitor the intersection of Madison Avenue, Wall Street, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Main Street,” he writes, “recognizing the views and practices of everyone involved in the news process, including advertisers, business, government, journalism, and the public.”Melissa Lilley, a 2006 graduate of Campbell and now a graduate student at North Carolina State University, edited Smith’s chapter.Smith has written four books and nine peer-reviewed journal articles. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Lillington, with their daughter, Taylor, 15.Photo Copy: Dr. Michael Ray Smith, professor of Mass Communication at Campbell University contributed a chapter to the book Media Bias, Finding It, Fixing It.

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