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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.”

KEY FINDINGS:

  • 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%].”

Previous: Exhibit 2-25: Pew Finds Record Low Respect for News Media (2011)
Next: Exhibit 2-27: In Campaign 2012, Most Voters (Again) Saw Media Favoring Obama

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