A Sacred Heart University Poll found significantly declining percentages of Americans saying they believe all or most of media news reporting. In the current national poll, just 19.6% of those surveyed could say they believe all or most news media reporting. This is down from 27.4% in 2003. Just under one-quarter, 23.9%, in 2007 said they believe little or none of reporting while 55.3% suggested they believe some media news reporting.
The perception is growing among Americans that the news media attempts to influence public opinion – from 79.3% strongly or somewhat agreeing in 2003 to 87.6% in 2007. And, 86.0% agreed (strongly or somewhat) that the news media attempts to influence public policies – up from 76.7% in 2003.
Other low positive ratings included: fairness (31.3%), presenting an even balance of views (30.4%) and presenting negative and positive news equally (27.5%).
“Americans know bias and imbalance when they see it and they don’t like it. When most service organizations strive for consumer satisfaction ratings in the high eighties to low nineties, an overall positive rating of 40.7% is dismal,” said Jerry Lindsley, director of the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute. He added, “Americans know that it’s just not that hard to present both sides and keep personal bias at home.”
The most trusted national TV news organizations, for accurate reporting, in declining order included: Fox News (27.0%), CNN (14.6%), and NBC News (10.90%). These were followed by ABC News (7.0%), local news (6.9%), CBS News (6.8%) MSNBC (4.0%), PBS News (3.0%), CNBC (0.6%) and CBN (0.5%).
RBR/TVBR observation: Of course, alternative media has led to much of the skepticism. A lot of the complaining from alternative media sources seems to be an overall propaganda-like reporting on critical issues, where news organizations report the news too often in a lock step fashion, rather than raising critical questions and giving their own take. Of course, Lou Dobbs would be an example to the contrary.