October 13, 2011

Partisan Perceptions of the News Media

76 vs. 54

Three-quarters of Republicans (76%) say news organizations are politically biased, a view shared by 54% of Democrats.

Views of media accuracy and independence have become much more uniform across party lines, as Democrats and independents express increasingly critical views.

Three-quarters of Republicans (76%) say news organizations are politically biased, a view shared by 54% of Democrats. In 2007, 70% of Republicans but only 39% of Democrats said the press was politically biased. Views on this question among independents have changed little in the past few years (63% now, 61% in 2007).

Four years ago, Republicans were much more likely than Democrats to view the news media as too critical of America (63% vs. 23%). But in the current survey, conducted July 20-24 of this year far fewer Republicans (49%) say this while the proportion of Democrats that espouse this view has grown eight points to 31%.

Democrats (64%) and independents (66%) are now about as likely as Republicans (69%) to say that the news media produce inaccurate stories. This finding signifies a notable shift from just a few years ago, when Democrats and independents had more faith in media accuracy. Partisan gaps on these two issues had been as high as 21 points for inaccuracy and 17 points for influence, but the divides have narrowed to 5 points and 4 points, respectively.

Since 2007, the percentage of Democrats saying news organizations are often influenced by powerful people and organizations has grown by 12 points; there has been a comparable increase among independents (14 points). Meanwhile, Republicans’ views have shown less change. Read More