From 2001 through 2009
, Gallup polled American adults on the question: “Now thinking for a moment about the news media: In general, do you think the news media is too liberal, just about right, or too conservative.” Each year, the number of Americans saying the media are too liberal has outnumbered those seeing a pro-conservative bias by about a three-to-one margin. Gallup also found that while a large majority of Democrats said they had trust and confidence in the media, a similarly large percentage of Republicans expressed little or no trust in the media.KEY FINDINGS
- In September 2009, three times as many Americans said that the media are too liberal (45%) than said the media are too conservative (15%).
- Since 2001, the percentage saying the media are too liberal has ranged from 44 percent to 48 percent; the percentage seeing the media as too conservative has never exceeded 19 percent.
- In 2009, barely one-third of Republicans (36%) told Gallup they had a great deal or fair amount of trust and confidence in the media, while the majority of Democrats (58%) said they trusted the media. Only 39% of self-described independents said they trusted the press.
- “About 2 in 10 Americans (18%) have no confidence in the media at all — which is also among the worst grades Gallup has recorded.”
- Gallup’s bottom line in 2009 was pessimistic: “Taken together, the findings underscore the challenge facing the media as they struggle with economic difficulties and increasing competition from emerging platforms.”
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