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Democrats, Republicans more divided over media watchdog role than ever

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donald trump newspaper
Since
President Donald Trump took office, Americans say they feel
increasingly distrustful of the news media.


Steven
Senne/AP



  • Democrats and Republicans continue to remain divided
    over attitudes toward the role of the news media, according to
    a new Pew Research Center survey released on Tuesday.
  • The areas where Democrats and Republicans disagree the
    most are on the media’s watchdog role and fairness in political
    coverage.
  • Americans continue to feel distrustful and disconnected
    from news media organizations.

Democrats and Republicans continue to remain divided over the
role of the news media, according to a new
Pew Research Center analysis
released on Tuesday.

The survey was based on data from over 5,000 American adults
collected between February 22 and March 4.

The areas where Democrats and Republicans disagreed the most were
on the media’s watchdog role and fairness in its political
coverage.

While 82% of Democrats support the media’s position of keeping
political leaders in check, only 38% of Republicans agreed, and a
majority of conservatives said the media’s watchdog role prevents
politicians from doing their jobs.

This difference is the largest ever measured in the more than
three decades Pew has asked the question.

These views began to widen directly following the 2016
presidential election, amid President Donald Trump’s tense
relationship with the media, which he has called the “enemy of
the people.”

Both Democrats and Republicans were equally likely to support the
media’s watchdog role in 2016 when former President Barack Obama
was still in office.


PJ_2018.09.25_media attitudes_0 02
Pew
Research Center


In terms of political fairness, 68% of Americans believe that the
media favors one side when covering political and social issues.
But far more Republicans (86%) find the media is biased than
Democrats (52%).

Both political parties agree that social media is an
untrustworthy source of news and information, as only 4% of
survey participants considered it trustworthy. But only 21% of
respondents said they have a high level of trust in the
information they learn from national news outlets.

Interestingly, 71% of respondents said they are confident in the
accuracy of information that news organizations present. But 68%
of Americans said they think news outlets try to cover up their
mistakes.

Most survey participants said they feel disconnected from the
media — 58% believe news organizations don’t understand the
people they serve, and 56% said they feel disconnected from their
main source of news.

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