Content analysis of bias in international print media coverage of genetically modified food

Ruth Fitzgerald, Hugh Campbell, Leda Sivak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


An interesting contrast exists about claims of media bias against Genetically Modified (GM)/ Genetically Engineered (GE) food. Industry groups and academic proponents of the technology like Thomas Hoban claim high levels of negative media bias. However, the actual results of preliminary media analysis of GM/GE food display the opposite – that early media coverage has generally been positive to the new technology. This paper uses content analysis of English language print media in the Reuters Business Briefing Data Base to confirm that while media sentiment was very positive in 1995, since then, media coverage has moved to a neutral middle ground. The paper also draws on literature from other environmental controversies in the media and from communications theory to argue that all media coverage is a politicised process and that the media is itself a site of production of ideologies. This underscores the necessity of rejecting any presumption that there could ever be an ‘objective’ account of GM/GE food.

Number of pages16
JournalRural Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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