Bozell: Media are Earning Mounting Distrust of Americans
Published: 9/15/2009 9:58 AM ET
Pew Poll Shows Public's Plunging Confidence in Fair, Accurate Media
Alexandria, VA - Today Media Research Center President Brent Bozell responded to the new biennial media attitudes survey released by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press that found "the public's assessment of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades."
"The media have earned every last drop of a growing majority of Americans' disdain and distrust. Blatantly biased, false and lazy reporting plagues network television and our nation's left-wing newspapers. And some of these entities are adding insult to injury by demanding financial bailouts from the American taxpayer.
"If the liberal broadcast networks and newspapers refuse to acknowledge they have become a victim of their newsrooms' own prejudices, they will continue to flounder until extinction. Alternative media are no longer just competing; they are outshining with solid, balanced and trusted coverage."
The full Pew Research Center survey is accessible online at: http://people-press.org/report/543/
Highlights of the survey findings include (MRC BiasAlert with key findings):
• Political Bias - In 1985, fewer than half (45%) said news organizations were politically biased, while 36% said they were careful to avoid bias. Today, by greater than two-to-one (60% to 26%), more say the press is biased.
• Liberal Bias - Americans have overwhelmingly identified bias as liberal-leaning both in 1985 and today. About twice as many said the press was liberal than conservative (40% vs. 19%) in 1985 and that continues to be the case today by a margin of 50% vs. 22%.
• Lack of Accuracy - Today just 29% of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63% say that news stories are often inaccurate - a drop in confidence since 1985 when 55% of Americans polled said news stories were accurate while 34% said they were inaccurate.