Half of Americans (50%) believe that the media reports major political news in a way that favors either the Republicans or Democrats and just 27% of Americans believe there is no partisan bias. The media is seen as favoring Democrats (38%) rather than Republicans (12%). Republicans are most likely to report that the Democrats are favored in reporting of major political stories (65%). Democrats are more likely to report that the media does not harbor a bias (42%). Independents are split - 30% believe reporting favors Democrats and 31% report believing there is no major bias. Nearly half of Americans (47%) believe that the media's reporting helps to keep the government accountable. This sentiment is more likely to be felt by Democrats (66%) when compared to Republicans (34%) or Independents (44%).
When it comes to journalistic ethics, Americans, especially Republicans, are cynical. A quarter of Americans (25%) believe that the media is paid by their sources very often, and 35% believe they get paid sometimes by their sources. Republicans are more likely than others to believe that sources get paid often (31%) or sometimes (39%) by the media. Democrats and Independents' sentiments mirror the public at large. Only 30% of Americans believe the media reports on facts regardless of their personal opinions. Republicans (20%) and Independents (25%) are less likely to believe this than Democrats (45%). Nearly half of Republicans (48%) strongly agree that the media is more interested in making money than telling the truth. Independents (28%) and Democrats (17%) are less likely to be skeptical of the media's motivations. Americans are less likely to believe important news stories if the sources for the stories are anonymous (41%), however 36% of Americans also reported that anonymous sources did not impact the believability of the story. Republicans are much more hesitant about anonymous sources (56%) than Democrats (32%) or Independents (41%).
A plurality of Americans still get most of their news about current events and politics from television (40%), followed by the internet (28%). Twelve percent of Americans report receiving their news from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. One fifth of Americans (22%) report that Fox News is their main source for television news, followed by CNN (15%). Republicans are far more likely to watch Fox News (38%) than Democrats (10%) or Independents (16%). Democrats are more likely to report getting their news from CNN (24%) than Republicans (9%) or Independents (9%).
About this Study
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