Updated February 22, 2022.
My recommendations, in approximate order of preference:
- Left Turn, by Tim Groseclose. This the first book anyone interested in media bias should read, and the most thorough, covering all the theories and evidence (especially Groseclose and Milyo’s 2005 study A Measure of Media Bias). It’s written by an academic, but in a fashion that’s completely understandable to the general public. Still, if you don’t think you can hack a book that uses the phrase “thought experiment” multiple times you may want to skip this book.
- Stonewalled, by Sharyl Attkisson. Attkisson was an investigative reporter at CBS. The core of the book is example after example of how the government and her employer impeded her reporting. I consider it essential reading on media bias. Attkisson’s The Smear is also a valuable read, for example on how politicians control the media.
- Give Me a Break, by John Stossel. This book isn’t only about media bias, but Stossel experienced it when he was at ABC and relates his story here (after a political conversion he stopped winning awards and couldn’t get his content aired). Even if you’re not interested in media bias this is just a good book that I recommend everyone read.
- The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies, by John Lott. This book is about the public debate on gun control, mostly how people mislead with statistics. Beforehand, you may want to read Lott’s research, the most extensive study of crime ever conducted, in More Guns, Less Crime. That book has one chapter on the media bias and related issues he experienced after his research was published.
- Bias, by Bernard Goldberg. The most well-known book about media bias is Goldberg’s story of his experience at CBS. Unfortunately, I think it’s only a fair book. Still, anyone seriously interested in the subject has to read this.
I also found this 12-minute video from John Stossel to be of high value: