Media Bias: Olympic Edition
If you go to espn.com to study the Olympic medal counts, you will find the United States sitting proudly at the top of the list.
When I last checked, the U.S. had about 13 more medals than China. Russia, in third place, has barely more than half the medals we have. Great Britain is in fourth. You’ll find this same ranking in The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post, and virtually every other American media outlet.
If you look at the BBC medal count, however, the U.S. is second and Great Britain is third. Strange, since they are reporting on the same Olympics. The difference is that the BBC ranks countries according to their number of gold medals, rather than overall medals.
Could it be mere coincidence that Reuters also chooses to rank countries by gold medals?
I did not even need to look to know that the Chinese media would report results based on gold medals, a category that China is dominating.
There are, however, counterexamples. Le Figaro lists countries by gold medals — even though France has only four golds, but a combined total of 26 silver and bronze medals — and so does the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
(Hat tip: David Yin)