|July 14th, 2012||#1|
Studies, Surveys, Polls: Public Attitudes Toward the Media
September 22, 2011
Majority in U.S. Continues to Distrust the Media, Perceive Bias
More perceive liberal bias than conservative bias
by Lymari Morales
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The majority of Americans still do not have confidence in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 44% of Americans who have a great deal or fair amount of trust and the 55% who have little or no trust remain among the most negative views Gallup has measured.
The majority of Americans (60%) also continue to perceive bias, with 47% saying the media are too liberal and 13% saying they are too conservative, on par with what Gallup found last year. The percentage of Americans who say the media are "just about right" edged up to 36% this year but remains in the range Gallup has found historically.
Perceptions of Bias Still Vary Sharply by Party and Ideology
Partisans continue to perceive the media very differently. Seventy-five percent of Republicans and conservatives say the media are too liberal. Democrats and liberals lean more toward saying the media are "just about right," at 57% and 42%, respectively. Moderates and independents diverge, however, with 50% of independents saying the media are too liberal and 50% of moderates saying they are just about right.
None of these views is statistically different from what Gallup found last year.
Americans remain largely distrusting of the news media, with 55% saying they have little or no trust in the media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly, and 60% perceiving bias one way or the other. These views are largely steady compared with last year, even as the media landscape continues to change rapidly.
In a report released Thursday, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found record-high negativity toward the media on 9 of 12 core measures it tracks. These measures may help explain some of the underlying negativity, though Gallup does not find sharp changes in overall views of the media this year compared with last. The types of media one consumes likely play a role in one's overall perceptions, and Gallup is planning more research in this area.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Sept. 8-11, 2011, with a random sample of 1,017 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample includes a minimum quota of 400 cell phone respondents and 600 landline respondents per 1,000 national adults, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents by region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cell phone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.
Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both, cell phone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2010 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
View methodology, full question results, and trend data.
For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.
|July 19th, 2012||#2|
Americans’ Opinion Of The Media Hits New Low
By Amanda Ernst on September 14, 2009 3:00 PM
A new Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey, released yesterday, reveals that the American public’s opinion of the press’s accuracy has reached its lowest level in two decades of Pew surveys.
The public’s thoughts on media bias and independence didn’t fare much better — the levels reported in this recent survey now match the lowest figures recorded by Pew.
Pew Research’s biennial media attitudes survey, which included data from 1,506 adults reached on landlines and cell phones, found that only 29 percent of Americans think that news organizations generally get the facts straight, with 63 believing that news stories are often inaccurate. Compare this to Pew’s first survey about the media’s performance in 1985, when 55 percent of respondents said news stories were accurate. However, that percentage dropped to 34 percent in the late 1990′s and has stayed low, finally dipping to today’s 29 percent. Ouch.
What’s more, 60 percent of respondents in the recent survey said news organizations are politically biased and only 20 percent said media companies are working independently from powerful people and organizations.
Not surprisingly, the opinion of the news media can be broken down by political party, with Republicans being the most critical of the media, Pew’s research revealed. However, Democrats have become increasingly critical of the media as well in recent years, lessening the gap between the parties over opinions on inaccuracy and favoritism. Reports Pew:
“Today, most Democrats (59 percent) say that the reports of news organizations are often inaccurate; just 43 percent said this two years ago. Democrats are also now more likely than they were in 2007 to identify favoritism in the media: Two-thirds (67 percent) say the press tends to favor one side rather than to treat all sides fairly, up from 54 percent. And while just a third of Democrats (33 percent) say news organizations are ‘too critical of America,’ that reflects a 10-point increase since 2007.”
Democrats and Republicans also have differing opinions about various news organizations. Democrats have more positive views about CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, NPR and the broadcast networks while Republicans favor Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, Pew’s research revealed.
And here’s a juicy tidbit for the New York media crowd: the starkest division between Democrats and Republicans can be seen in their thoughts about the Times:
“Although most Americans are not familiar enough with the Times to express an opinion, Republicans view The New York Times negatively by a margin of nearly two-to-one (31 percent to 16 percent), while Democrats view it positively by an almost five-to-one margin (39 percent to 8 percent). More independents rate the Times favorably (29 percent) than unfavorably (18 percent).”
One of the most interesting findings of the Pew survey was the belief among Americans that the death of traditional media outlets would be an important loss. 82 percent of respondents said that “if all local television news programs went off the air — and shut down their web sites — it would be an important loss,” Pew said. 76 percent said the same about network TV evening news. And, although they rely mostly on the Internet for their news, young people were more likely than their older counterparts to state that it would be an important loss if national news sources like network TV evening news, cable news and large national newspapers closed up shop.
So, what can we learn from this survey? The American public doesn’t trust the traditional news media, but they don’t want to see it go away, either. At this point, it’s unclear what sort of changes the media can enact in order to assure Americans of their independence and accuracy. More transparency? More social interaction online? More user generated content? More varying view points?
Whatever it takes, the media needs to win back the hearts and minds of the public. We need them to survive.
Read more of the survey’s findings here.
(Graphic from Pew Research Center.)
|July 19th, 2012||#3|
Press Accuracy Rating Hits Two Decade Low
Public Evaluations of the News Media: 1985-2009
The public’s assessment of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades of Pew Research surveys, and Americans’ views of media bias and independence now match previous lows.
Just 29% of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63% say that news stories are often inaccurate. In the initial survey in this series about the news media’s performance in 1985, 55% said news stories were accurate while 34% said they were inaccurate. That percentage had fallen sharply by the late 1990s and has remained low over the last decade.
Similarly, only about a quarter (26%) now say that news organizations are careful that their reporting is not politically biased, compared with 60% who say news organizations are politically biased. And the percentages saying that news organizations are independent of powerful people and organizations (20%) or are willing to admit their mistakes (21%) now also match all-time lows.
Republicans continue to be highly critical of the news media in nearly all respects. However, much of the growth in negative attitudes toward the news media over the last two years is driven by increasingly unfavorable evaluations by Democrats. On several measures, Democratic criticism of the news media has grown by double-digits since 2007. Today, most Democrats (59%) say that the reports of news organizations are often inaccurate; just 43% said this two years ago. Democrats are also now more likely than they were in 2007 to identify favoritism in the media: Two-thirds (67%) say the press tends to favor one side rather than to treat all sides fairly, up from 54%. And while just a third of Democrats (33%) say news organizations are “too critical of America,” that reflects a 10-point increase since 2007.
[much much more through link]
|July 20th, 2012||#4|
Join Date: Jul 2005
Local Media or National, Slutty and Hysterical Is What You Get
Isn't it strange that we talk least about the things we think about most?
We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples
to lead our country to destruction.
-Charles A. Lindbergh
|August 17th, 2012||#5|
Further Decline in Credibility Ratings for Most News Organizations
For the second time in a decade, the believability ratings for major news organizations have suffered broad-based declines. In the new survey, positive believability ratings have fallen significantly for nine of 13 news organizations tested. This follows a similar downturn in positive believability ratings that occurred between 2002 and 2004.
The falloff in credibility affects news organizations in most sectors: national newspapers, such as the New York Times and USA Today, all three cable news outlets, as well as the broadcast TV networks and NPR.
Across all 13 news organizations included in the survey, the average positive believability rating (3 or 4 on a 4-point scale) is 56%. In 2010, the average positive rating was 62%. A decade ago, the average rating for the news organizations tested was 71%. Since 2002, every news outlet’s believability rating has suffered a double-digit drop, except for local daily newspapers and local TV news. The New York Times was not included in this survey until 2004, but its believability rating has fallen by 13 points since then.
These are among the major findings of a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted July 19-22 among 1,001 adults. The survey asks people to rate individual news organizations on believability using a 4-point scale. A rating of 4 means someone believes “all or most” of what the news organization says; a rating of 1 means someone believes “almost nothing” of what they say.
The believability ratings for individual news organizations – like views of the news media generally – have long been divided along partisan lines. But partisan differences have grown as Republicans’ views of the credibility of news outlets have continued to erode. Today, there are only two news organizations – Fox News and local TV news – that receive positive believability ratings from at least two-thirds of Republicans. A decade ago, there were only two news organizations that did not get positive ratings from at least two-thirds of Republicans. By contrast, Democrats generally rate the believability of news organizations positively; majorities of Democrats give all the news organizations tested ratings of 3 or 4 on the 4-point scale, with the exception of Fox News.
[much more including graphs and charts thru link]