Exhibit 1-17: The News Media and the War, 2005

As part of a larger study of how the views of 'opinion leaders' compare with those of the general public, the Pew Research Center for The People & The Press, in collaboration with the Council on Foreign relations, surveyed 72 top journalists in September and October 2005. The study, which was released on November 17, 2005, found that, compared to everyday citizens, journalists were more likely to have opposed the decision to go to war in Iraq, were more pessimistic about the chances of success in Iraq, and were far less likely to see immigration reform as a national priority. Reporters were also more disapproving of President Bush's job performance.


  • The public was nearly evenly split on whether the U.S. should have invaded Iraq in 2003, with 48 percent agreeing with the decision and 45 percent disagreeing. But among journalists, 71 percent said they considered it a bad decision, compared to just 28 percent that thought it was the right move.

  • Similarly, while the public is evenly split on whether the war in Iraq will help or hurt the U.S. in the overall war on terror (44 percent to 44 percent), three times as many journalists say the war in Iraq has been harmful as think it was helpful (68 percent to 22 percent).

  • While 56 percent of the public said 'efforts to establish a stable democracy' in Iraq will succeed, 63 percent of the news media elite think it will fail.

  • Nearly half of the public (46 percent) believe torture of terrorist suspects can be 'often' or 'sometimes' justified, while 78 percent of the news media elite contend it is 'rarely' or 'never' justified.

Previous: Exhibit 1-16: Journalists' Ethics and Attitudes, 2005
Next: Exhibit 1-18: Slate Magazine Pre-Election Staff Survey

Media Bias 101 Home