Blacks’ Views of Law Enforcement, Racial Progress and News Coverage of Race
The Trayvon Martin case has highlighted issues relating to the treatment of blacks by local police departments, the state of race relations in the U.S. and press coverage of African Americans. Pew Research Center surveys in recent years have covered the opinions of African Americans on these and other issues.
Cable Leads the Pack as Campaign News Source
Cable news is now the top regular source for campaign news. The long-term decline in the number of Americans getting campaign news from local and network TV news, and local newspapers, steepened this year. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are used for campaign news by a relatively limited audience.
Press Widely Criticized, But Trusted More than Other Sources of Information
Negative opinions about the performance of news organizations now equal or surpass all-time highs on nine of 12 core measures the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has been tracking since 1985.
Assessing a New Landscape in Journalism
Institutions and funders have been moving to fill the gap being left by shrinking newsrooms by backing non-profit news sites. Roughly half of these sites produce news that is clearly ideological in nature.
Most Say Political Sex Scandals Due to Greater Scrutiny, Not Lower Morality
A 57%-majority says elected officials just get caught more often because they are under greater scrutiny. About two-in-ten (19%), on the other hand, say elected officials have lower moral standards than ordinary Americans.
Press Coverage and Public Interest
The public tended to maintain its interest in major breaking news stories considerably longer than the press did. And the press tended to maintain substantially more interest in Washington Beltway controversies than did its audience.
Public’s Top Stories of the Decade — 9/11 and Katrina
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 drew more public interest than any other story in the past decade. The 2005 hurricanes in the Gulf, high gasoline prices and the collapse of the economy in 2008 also grabbed overwhelming public attention.
Americans Spending More Time Following the News
Americans are increasingly integrating new technologies into their news consumption habits. As a result, the average time spent with the news is as high as it was in the mid-1990s.
Most media executives do not see a bright future for journalism. Still, newspaper leaders are more optimistic than their partners in broadcast. Finding revenue is a giant problem, but there is strong resistance to taking government or advocacy dollars.
Stories of 2009: Public vs. Press
The media’s top stories generally reflected the public’s top interests, but the press gave more coverage to politics (Kennedy’s death, Palin’s book, Specter’s switch) than the public was willing to follow.