Poll: A Quarter of Americans Think the Media Try to be Objective

That might seem like a lot of Americans who seem to trust the media, but that figure is actually down significantly from the past few years. It’s an all-time low for this particular survey conducted by the Newseum Institute.

It’s interesting to note that those most likely to distrust the media are young people, middle-aged people, and Republicans. Those most likely to trust the media are older people and Democrats. CNS News reported:

The survey asked if respondents agreed with this statement: “Overall, the news media tries to report the news without bias.”

Twenty-four percents said they agreed with this and 70 percent said they disagreed.

“The 24% who now say the media try to report news without bias is the lowest since we began asking this question in 2004,” the institute reports in its 2015 State of the First Amendment Survey, and “represents a 17-point drop from last year and a 22-point drop from 2013.”

Respondents’ views varied with political party affiliation, with nearly twice as many Democrats as Republicans saying they believe the media is unbiased.

“Democrats (36%) are significantly more likely to think that the news media try to be unbiased than do either Republicans (19%) or independents (21%),” the poll noted.

[…]

Young people aged 18 to 29 were the least likely to believe that the media are objective, with only 7 percent agreeing that news outlets try to report without an ideological bias.

But the vast majority of middle-aged adults between the ages of 30 and 49 also have a negative view of the media’s objectivity, with just 13 percent saying that it tries to report the news without bias.

Although older Americans over 50 are the most likely to believe that the media is objective, only 26 percent of them agree that it reports the news without bias.

By far, those identifying as Democrats are the most gullible when it comes to trusting the media.

I think the more national the media outlet is, the more biased they are. That’s not to say that local media outlets should be completely trusted or that they are somehow immune from bias. They’re just more concerned with reporting local stories, because that’s what’s expected of them. They are a business after all, and if they want to keep their viewership, they have to give their viewers what they want and expect, and that’s local news stories. Local anchors aren’t quite the celebrities we see on MSNBC and Fox News, who are more concerned with skewing stories for political purposes and kickbacks. If there is a local story that can be used to further a political goal, they’ll use it. Think Trayvon Martin.

Conversely, local stories that demonstrate the validity of conservative ideas don’t ever make it to the national news. Cases involving gun self-defense come to mind. Those are reported on at the local level, and the vast majority of them remain local stories.

In addition, you’re never going to hear about a white guy getting beat up or killed by a mob of black teens on the national news. But a black teen getting beat up or killed by a non-black person that they’ll identify as ‘white’ regardless of what race he actually is? Perfect for national media. No wonder so few people trust them to be unbiased. I think they may need to change their business model.