Surprisingly little research exists on the nexus between the news media and schools and universities, despite the fact that education is among our nation’s most significant public interests and expenses. So, in 2009, the National Education Policy Center commissioned me to look into who was actually conducting the educational research mentioned in the news media…
I found that advocacy-oriented think-tank studies were more likely to be mentioned in the news sources I examined than studies by nonadvocacy think tanks. In 2007, academics produced fourteen to sixteen times more studies than did advocacy-oriented think tanks. Yet academic research was only twice as likely as advocacy-oriented think-tank research to be mentioned in the three outlets studied.
The report Holly references in her article is available here (PDF).
Full disclosure: Holly is a friend and a fellow Ph.D. candidate at the U. of Colorado at Boulder.