Media Bias 101: What Journalists Really Think -- and What the Public Thinks About the Media

Media Bias 101 summarizes more than 25 years of survey research showing how journalists vote, what journalists think, what the public thinks about the media, and what journalists say about media bias. The following links take you to more than 40 different surveys, with key findings and illustrative charts.

A printer-friendly formatted 50-page version of the report is available in PDF format here (921 kB).

Part One: What Journalists Think

Surveys over the past 30 years have consistently found that journalists — especially those at the highest ranks of their profession — are much more liberal than rest of America. They are more likely to vote liberal, more likely to describe themselves as liberal, and more likely to agree with the liberal position on policy matters than members of the general public.

Exhibit 1-1: The Media Elite

Exhibit 1-2: Major Newspaper Reporters

Exhibit 1-3: The American Journalist

Exhibit 1-4: U.S. Newspaper Journalists

Exhibit 1-5: Survey of Business Reporters

Exhibit 1-6: Journalists -- Who Are They, Really?

Exhibit 1-7: White House Reporters

Exhibit 1-8: The Media Elite Revisited

Exhibit 1-9: Washington Bureau Chiefs and Correspondents

Exhibit 1-10: Newspaper Journalists of the 1990s

Exhibit 1-11: Newspaper Editors

Exhibit 1-12: The People and the Press: Whose Views Shape the News?

Exhibit 1-13: How Journalists See Journalists in 2004

Exhibit 1-14: Campaign Journalists (2004)

Exhibit 1-15: TV and Newspaper Journalists

Exhibit 1-16: Journalists' Ethics and Attitudes, 2005

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

Exhibit 1-18: Slate Magazine Pre-Election Staff Survey

Part Two: How the Public Views the Media

A wide variety of public opinion polls have documented the fact that most Americans now see the media as politically biased, inaccurate, intrusive, and a tool of powerful interests. By a nearly three-to-one margin, those who see political bias believe the media bend their stories to favor liberals.

Exhibit 2-1: The People and The Press, 1997

Exhibit 2-2: What the People Want from the Press

Exhibit 2-3: ASNE Journalism Credibility Project, 1998

Exhibit 2-4: The People and The Press, 2000

Exhibit 2-5: Gallup Polls on Media Bias

Exhibit 2-6: The People and The Press, 2003

Exhibit 2-7: Bias in the 2004 Presidential Campaign

Exhibit 2-8: Missouri School of Journalism 2004

Exhibit 2-9: American Journalism Review, 2005

Exhibit 2-10: CBS's "State of the Media," 2006

Exhibit 2-11: Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet/Zogby Survey

Exhibit 2-12: Coverage of the War in Iraq, 2007

Exhibit 2-13: Rasmussen Reports on Media Bias, 2007

Exhibit 2-14: Harvard's "National Leadership Index" Survey (2007)

Exhibit 2-15: Sacred Heart University Polling Institute (2007)

Exhibit 2-16: Public Reaction to Media Coverage of the 2008 Primaries

Exhibit 2-17: Rasmussen Reports on Campaign 2008 Bias

Exhibit 2-18: Public Overwhelmingly Saw Favoritism For Obama

Exhibit 2-19: Pew Study Finds Media Credibility Plummets

Exhibit 2-20: Confidence In Media Hits New Low

Exhibit 2-21: Trust and Satisfaction with the National Media (2009)

Part Three: What Journalists Say about Media Bias

Over the years, the Media Research Center has catalogued the views of journalists on the subject of bias. In spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many journalists still refuse to acknowledge that most of the establishment media tilts to the left. Even so, a number of journalists have admitted that the majority of their brethren approach the news from a liberal angle.

Journalists Denying Liberal Bias

More Journalists Denying Liberal Bias

Still More Journalists Denying Liberal Bias

Journalists Admitting Liberal Bias

More Journalists Admitting Liberal Bias
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