Record numbers of Americans consider the news media to be “immoral,” “inaccurate,” and “biased,” a new poll says.
A plurality of Americans, 42 percent, said that the press was “immoral,” compared to 38 percent who viewed the news media as “moral” - a record high according to an annual Pew Research poll on the media.
Americans were evenly divided on whether the news media helps “protect democracy” or “hurts democracy,” with 42 percent for each. The number of people who thought the media hurts democracy was another record high – in the mid-1980s, about twice as many said that news organizations protect democracy.
Americans also believe that news stories are often inaccurate - with 66 percent thinking that, compared with 34 percent in 1985. Only 25 percent of those surveyed think news organizations “get the facts straight.”
And when reporters get the facts wrong, 72 percent of Americans said that they “try to cover up their mistakes” rather than admitting them, yet another record high, according to Pew. Only 18 percent said that reporters were willing to admit their mistakes.
While majorities of Americans said that the news media remained highly professional (57 percent) and care about the quality of their work (68 percent), a historically large percentage of respondents thought that reporters were “not professional (32 percent) and “don’t care about how good a job they do” (31 percent).
By a large margin, respondents said that reporters were “politically biased in their reporting,” with a record high 63 percent agreeing with this view and only 25 percent disagreeing.
Meanwhile, another new poll out this week reaffirmed the continuing American perception of liberal bias in the news media, and showed deep mistrust in the accuracy of their reporting.
Americans were asked if they how much trust and confidence in the mass media, and a majority - 55 percent - responded “not very much” or “none at all,” according to a new Gallup poll. A majority of Americans have remained distrustful of the media since 2007.
A significant majority of Americans, 60 percent, also perceive bias in the media. 47 percent said that the media is too liberal, and 13 percent said that that it was too conservative.
Americans have perceived more liberal bias in the media than conservative bias by a large margin since at least 2002, according to Gallup.
Of course, bias perceptions varied based on ideology. But even so, conservatives were far more concerned about liberal media bias than liberals were about conservative bias. 75 percent of conservatives said that the media was too liberal, whereas only 37 percent of liberals thought the media was too conservative.
The Gazette now offers Facebook Comments on its stories. You must be logged into your Facebook account to add comments. If you do not want your comment to post to your personal page, uncheck the box below the comment. Comments deemed offensive by the moderators will be removed, and commenters who persist may be banned from commenting on the site.