Most Americans agree the media is biased in one way or another

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
June 20, 2017, 10:17 AM GMT+0

70% of the general public agrees that news organizations are subject to partisan agendas

The rise of fake news, a growing multitude of media sources, and an increasingly polarized nation have Americans learning to take their headlines with a grain of salt.

New YouGov research shows that most Americans (70%) agree that news organizations report stories in a light that’s partial to who owns them. It’s interesting to note that the two prevailing political parties perceive media bias to varying degrees. About one in two Democrats (52%) believe that news media is influenced by funding while a drastically greater number of Republicans (85%) hold the same to be true.

Conversely, when asked whether or not one would trust a news source if its track record proved objectivity, 83% of Democrats believe they would, whereas only 58% of Republicans say the same.

Taken in conjunction with the first poll, Republicans and the national population tend to be more skeptical of news organizations, regardless of whether the source has a reputation of being neutral. The percentage point difference in the two surveys reveals that the general public sides more with Republicans than it does with Democrats on the topic of media bias.

YouGov recently conducted a survey that revealed 44% of Americans believe when someone refers to reporting as fake news, it tends to be that s/he doesn’t like what’s being reported more than the fact that it’s untrue. Given that the general population sides more closely with Republican sentiment towards media bias in the above polls, it seems that news organizations have a tough few months of ahead of them if they want more members of the public to accept reporting at face value.