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MediaWatch: September 1989

Vol. Three No. 9

Study Bites: Opinion Journalists Follow a Slightly Different Pattern

Critics of theater, movies, books and other subjects preferred writing articles for liberal magazines (48) over conservative ones (22) by more than 2 to 1. The New Republic has published 13 columns by Newsweek art critic Mark Stevens, in addition to articles by Time art critic Robert Hughes, USA Today book editor Robert Wilson, Wall Street Journal television critic Martha Bayles, and from The New York Times, drama critic Frank Rich and film critic Jane Maslin.

John Leonard, the New York magazine critic who regularly appears on CBS Sunday Morning, wrote nine pieces for Ms. and eight articles for The Nation. James Lardner, a former drama critic for The Washington Post, wrote 12 reviews for The Nation. Conservative magazines were graced only by Wall Street Journal book editor David Brooks (17) and Washington Times television critic Richard Marin (5).

Conservative magazines could find few reports to contribute articles, but plenty of editorial writers made it into print. Wall Street Journal and Washington Times opinion writers were most frequently represented in the 52 such pieces published. Just 20 articles by editorial writers appeared in liberal magazines. Conservatives in the media stick to working for the editorial page. But with 315 pieces in liberal magazines by reporters, liberals sure don't.