TV news stories on jobs ignore unemployment data


Julia Seymour of the Business & Media Institute reports Thursday that more than three-fourths of the September jobs stories (77 percent) on broadcast television didn’t mention the 9.1 unemployment rate at all.

Seymour writes, “Several stories put a positive spin on the horrendous jobs situation and only four stories mentioned that more than 14 million people are out of work.

“The Business & Media Institute analyzed 79 stories on the broadcast evening news programs that mentioned ‘job’ or ‘jobs’ between Sept. 1 and Sept. 26 and found only 18 (23 percent) of them actually mentioned the 9.1 percent rate or said that unemployment was above 9 percent. Stories about ‘job’ approval, people doing their ‘job’ and other non-economic references were not counted.

“Just as the networks have downplayed the high unemployment and looked for hopeful signs on jobs during much of the Obama presidency, reporters continued to find ‘good news’ about unemployment to talk about.

“CBS ‘Evening News’ anchor Scott Pelley shared ‘a little bit of good news on jobs‘ on Sept. 7, 2011. He led into a report about Obama’s proposed jobs plan by optimistically reporting that in July there were 3.2 million job openings posted by employers. ‘That’s the most in nearly three years,’ Pelley said without noting the huge shortfall between available jobs and the roughly 14 million who were unemployed in August.”

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