One point I’ve tried to make in discussions of media bias is that journalism is part of the larger communications industry. It is my impression that the news media lean left but the public-relation industry leans right.

I was reminded of this by two stories in the newspaper today:

Syria’s Assads Turned to West for Glossy P.R.

Newspaper as Business Pulpit

Traditional newspapers make their money by attracting big audiences, often with left-wing populist stances. Public relations makes money by getting hired by rich people, often to push a conservative agenda. The correlation is not 100%—-you have Fox News on one side and various liberal-leaning public relations outfits on the other—-but I think when considering media it’s useful to think of the larger industry that includes news and also P.R.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

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Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University.