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This is an interesting methodology being used to determine media slant... although something also used to determine media slant or bias has been to compare two or more competing candidates (from presumably different political philosophies) and query how many "column inches" minutes of airtime, or word count was used to put forward a particular candidate's message and activities. A more subjective measure could be if a particular article was "favorable" or "unfavorable" to that candidate or legislative position. A further measure of bias would be to compare editorial pages (including columnists) to the "front page" or more traditional news gathering. This is particularly true if the editorial staff has formally endorsed specific candidates for elective office.
It would seem that mere reportage would be more likely to simply reflect the catch phrases being used by congressmen and politicians without even demonstrating any sort of bias. This study seems to me as flawed because it might simply reflect the congressional district where the newspaper is located, as it is merely reporting those phrases used by the representative or representatives of the districts in the general area where the newspaper is located at.