Another National Survey Finds Americans Believe National Media Biased

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Another National Survey Finds Americans Believe National Media Biased Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 21,

Washington, DC ( — Another national survey finds that Americans think the mainstream media is biased in its treatment of abortion and other political issues. The poll finds Americans say the media too often sides with the pro-abortion or liberal position on sensitive political topics.

The latest poll comes from the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute and it finds a declining number of Americans believe the content of what they see and hear in the mainstream media news reporting.

The poll asked Americans to discuss how much they trust particular media outlets and MSNBC and PBS came in at the bottom with just four percent and three percent, respectively, saying the trust the content of those broadcast stations.

The Fox News Channel came in with the most trust among Americans, though a scant 27 percent said they trust the content they see there. CNN placed second with 14.6 percent of Americans saying they trust its content. In 2003, CNN led Fox News by a 23.8 to 14.6 margin.

NBC News was found trustworthy and accurate by just 10.9 percent, ABC News by seven percent, the local news channels by 6.9 percent, CBS News by 6.8 percent, and CNBS by just .6 percent of Americans.

"Just 19.6 percent of those surveyed could say they believe all or most news media reporting. This is down from 27.4 percent in 2003,” the university’s poling institute said.

By a 45 to 16 percent margin, Americans see media journalists and broadcasters as liberal compared to seeing them as having conservative views. Those percentages were much higher — at a four to on breakdown — among Americans talking about the perceived liberal views of NPR and the New York Times.

A growing number of Americans say the media is trying to influence public policy — with 87.6 percent saying that now — a rise since 79.3 percent said that in 2003.

The Media Research Center highlighted the new poll and noted that “this was the sixth national poll in just a year to document the widespread public recognition of liberal over conservative bias.”

In a November Harvard Poll, more than twice as many Americans say the news media are too liberal (45%) rather than too conservative (18%).

And an August Pew poll found most of the public thinks news organizations are politically biased (55%) and often publish inaccurate stories (53%), and that roughly a third of the audience say the media are too critical of America (43%), hurt democracy (36%) and are immoral (32%).

MRC spokesman Rich Noyes says, “the public recognize a liberal bias over a conservative bias.”

“The vast majority of American voters believe media bias is alive and well,” he said. “American adults believe that the three major broadcast networks deliver news with a bias in favor of liberals.”

“Perhaps not surprisingly, Pew discovered that those who have chosen to bypass traditional news outlets in favor of the Internet give the harshest indictments of the press,” he added.