Exhibit 2-26: Record High 67% See Political Bias in News Media
A Pew Research Center survey of 1,000 adults conducted in January 2012 and released the following month found a record high 67 percent of Americans see “a great deal” or “fair amount” of “political bias” in the news media. Such a widespread perception of bias is bad news for the media, since most Americans (68%) also told Pew’s researchers they prefer to get their political news from sources “that have no particular political point of view.”
Pew found that “the number saying there is a great deal of political bias in the news has risen to a new high, with the most intense criticism coming from Tea Party Republicans.” A record high 67 percent of Americans see “a great deal” (37%) or “fair amount” (30%) of political bias in the news media, up from 63 percent just four months earlier.
Among self-described Tea Party Republicans, 74 percent saw a “great deal” of political bias in the media. Among all Republicans, 49 percent saw a “great deal” of bias in the news, vs. 35 percent of independents and 32 percent of Democrats.
“Men (41%) are somewhat more likely than women (33%) to see bias in the news,” and “higher-earning and better-educated Americans [are] more likely to say there is a great deal of political bias in the news.”
“Among news audiences, those who cite the Fox News Channel or the radio as their main source of campaign news are the most likely to say there is a great deal of bias in news coverage.”
Despite the widespread perception of a biased media, Pew found “most Americans [68%] say they prefer to get their news from sources that have no particular point of view than from sources that share their political view [23%].”