Concluding Our Characterizing Biases in Cable News Study

21 May 2024

This paper is available on arxiv under CC 4.0 license.


(1) Seth P. Benson, Carnegie Mellon University (e-mail:;

(2) Iain J. Cruickshank, United States Military Academy (e-mail:

Abstract and Intro

Related Research




Conclusion and References


The primary objective of this paper was to develop a model capable of characterizing the biases of cable news programs given a large volume of text data in the form of transcripts. Our focus was on analyzing gatekeeping bias, which pertains to the topics discussed on cable news programs, and writing style bias, which refers to the language used to discuss these topics.

To achieve this, we dissected individual transcripts using Named Entity Recognition and Few-Shot Stance Detection, before employing Spectral Embedding and Clustering to group similar programs. Our results largely conformed to common expectations about cable news: cable news programs exhibit consistent biases that generally align with other programs on their network.

Future research could leverage different models or prompting techniques to find improved ways to identify the stance of cable news text towards topics. Beyond our model, there are also other dimensions of bias that merit investigation.

For instance, integrating our model with work done on visual bias in television could potentially enhance its ability to characterize bias in cable news [46]. Future work could also aim to examine a broader time range. This could reveal changes in cable news programs over time and potentially identify years that do not exhibit the consistent network-driven clusters we identified in the 2020 data.


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This paper is available on Arxiv under CC 4.0 license.