1/n Just published with my colleagues @Musa_alGharbi and J Halberstadt: “Prevalence of Prejudice-Denoting Words in News Media Discourse: A Chronological Analysis”
2/n Our results show that the frequency of words that denote specific prejudice types related to ethnicity, gender, sexual and religious orientation has markedly increased within the 2010-2019 decade across most news media outlets.
3/n The increasing prevalence of prejudice denoting words in news media starts prior to 2015
4/n The growing usage of prejudice related words in news articles has been consistent across news outlets regardless of their ideological leanings, but overall, prejudice-denoting words appear to be less prevalent in centrist outlets
5/n Factor analysis of 40 prejudice-signifying words prevalence in news media shows that a single factor accounts for over 76% of all the variance
6/n The racism theme displays the highest absolute prevalence in news written articles followed by anti-Semitism, sexism and homophobia. Islamophobia and transphobia appear to be less prevalent
7/n Correlations of yearly frequency counts for prejudice themes suggests occasional synchronicity along ideological leanings
8/n Correlation between prejudice-denoting words in written news media and TV cable news is large. The source for cable news data is Stanford Cable TV News Analyzer
9/n Granger-causality tests show that some influential outlets (in red below) preceded others on the usage dynamics of prejudice related terms. Note that the name Granger-causality is misleading, precedence in time is necessary but not sufficient to establish causation
10/n Granger tests suggest that the prevalence of prejudice-denoting terms in news outlets can be predictive of shifts in public perceptions of prejudice severity in society for some, but not all, types of prejudice
11/end We hope future studies look in-depth at potential causal factors for the trends described above as well as the impact of news media rhetoric on public consciousness and the social implications of growing perceptions of prejudice severity among the general population.
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