A study released Monday by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism shows media coverage around the time the U.S. Supreme Court first considered the homosexual marriage issue had much more content from supporters than opponents.
Researchers studied nearly 500 stories on the topic over a two-month period. They found that stories with statements supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage outnumbered by 5 to 1 stories dominated by the views of opponents.
Pew says many stories were about polls showing societal attitudes quickly changing toward support of gay marriage, and supporters were better at getting their message out.
"Certainly it is evident in these findings the degree to which supporters of same-sex marriage were largely successful in getting their message out in a clear way, a consistent way, across a wide swath of the news media," Amy Mitchell, acting director of the project, said.
Twitter postings reflected public opinion more accurately than news coverage, according to the study. Positive and negative tweets were about the same, but most negative comments followed the Supreme Court hearings.
Mitchell also suggests that the study does not necessarily show news media opinions skew left.