How to End the Right Wing Domination Of Talk Radio

This post, written by Faiz Shakir, originally appeared on Think Progress

The Center for American Progress and Free Press today released the first-ever statistical analysis of the political make-up of talk radio in the United States. It confirms that talk radio, one of the most widely used media formats in America, is dominated almost exclusively by conservatives.

The new report -- entitled "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio" -- raises serious questions about whether the companies licensed to broadcast over the public radio airwaves are serving the listening needs of all Americans.

While progressive talk is making inroads on commercial stations, right-wing talk reigns supreme on America's airwaves. Some key findings:
- In the spring of 2007, of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners, 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming was conservative, and only 9 percent was progressive.
- Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk -- 10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.
- 76 percent of the news/talk programming in the top 10 radio markets is conservative, while 24 percent is progressive.

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Two common myths are frequently offered to explain the imbalance of talk radio: 1) the 1987 repeal of the Fairness Doctrine (which required broadcasters to devote airtime to contrasting views), and 2) simple consumer demand. Each of these fails to adequately explain the root cause of the problem. The report explains:
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