Growing interest in quantitative studies of social movements and protest cycles attests to the vigor of protest event analysis as a strategy for investigating the protopolitical processes of collective claimsmaking in democratic states and emerging democracies. Increasing investments in protest events research has also led to growing concern about sources of measurement error that stem from reliance on media data sources. Using Blalock's conception of auxiliary measurement models, this article traces two alternative treatments of measurement bias in the literature on events analysis. The two approaches, characterized here as "media theory" and "representational," differ in the degree to which they accept media data as an adequate representation of protest event reality. Recent work that attempts to establish empirically the relationship between media data and alternative data sources on protest events promises an empirical base for examining the assumption of stable media bias that underlies representational approaches. Finally, the conclusions suggest some weaknesses in the empirical base for theorizing from media-based event analyses.

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