Free Markets, Free People


American majority perceives media bias

We’ve talked about this for quite some time, years in fact (hit the media category for previous discussions).  And we’ve been told countless times by the media and media apologists that is just isn’t true, because, you know, they’re professionals.

But the the world of opinion, perception is reality.  People’s opinions of an organization or institution are formed around their perceptions of that organization or institution.  In the case of the media, it appears they have earned the reputation of a biased institution.  Whether they agree that’s true or not is really incidental.  Their “customers”, in the majority, believe it.  And thus, to them, it’s true.

The majority of Americans still do not have confidence in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. The 44% of Americans who have a great deal or fair amount of trust and the 55% who have little or no trust remain among the most negative views Gallup has measured.

That’s an earned reputation, especially after the last election when the media refused to the vetting of Obama that is customary for a presidential candidate while going into full feeding frenzy over Sarah Palin.  The difference was obvious even to the most disinterested of Americans.  And there are numerous other examples.  But primarily it was the obviousness of the political bias demonstrated by the media in that election which sealed the deal for many.

Key point:

Partisans continue to perceive the media very differently. Seventy-five percent of Republicans and conservatives say the media are too liberal. Democrats and liberals lean more toward saying the media are "just about right," at 57% and 42%, respectively. Moderates and independents diverge, however, with 50% of independents saying the media are too liberal and 50% of moderates saying they are just about right.

Interesting that those who see no bias but see it “just about right” are on the left.  Look up the term “confirmation bias”.  Notice there isn’t a category saying the media is “too conservative”?

What should the media as a whole take away from such a poll?

That they’ve lost the trust of the majority of America in their ability to report the news in a factual, complete and unbiased manner.

That’s a very difficult perception to reverse.  Trust is not something given lightly by most people.  And once violated, very difficult to win back.  The media has become it’s own worst enemy.  It refuses to acknowledge this perception of the public and thus makes no effort to self-correct.   And because of that the perception is constantly revalidated and the erosion of the trust factor continues.

Without the ability to self-correct, the media will continue with its business as usual.   And, as it has seen, on-line competition will continue to grow and prosper.  I’m biased and you know it.  You can filter that out.  But I make no pretense or claim to the contrary.

Perhaps full disclosure by the media would be the way to change the trust factor.  It certainly would be refreshing.  But, as I note, they don’t believe it of themselves, so why would they change?

And its not just Gallup finding these things:

In a report released Thursday, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found record-high negativity toward the media on 9 of 12 core measures it tracks.

Hope they enjoy their earned reputation.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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14 Responses to American majority perceives media bias

  • What gets me is their total disingenuous.  I have heard media people say and write that there is no bias at all, and then those very names come up on Journolist where they actively coordinated their smear campaigns.

  • At this point they’re practicing progressive thought – that those of us who think they’re biased are stupid, ignorant, probably Christian fundamentalists, racists, white supremacists, anti immigration and any other assorted nasty thing you can think of that justifies them not worrying about what we think of them.

  • My inside information on this stuff tells me that there is no “liberal bias” in the media, but rather it is a “Democrat bias.”
    The media is 90+% Democrats.  While they have major efforts to include Blacks (think Jayson Blair) and women (think Janet Cooke), they don’t consider it necessary to have any balance on the partisan level.

  • The Mushroom Media has become utterly…and openly…ideological.  AND their ideology is OPENLY hostile to the vast majority of the American people.
    WONDERFUL, then, that we have had the explosion of alternative media we currently enjoy…and which they know threatens their hegemony.

  • Today, listening to Fox News in the car, they were reporting on the GOP in Congress passing a CR and had a long quote from Carney about how it was playing politics, Tea Party tail wagging the dog, etc. etc. etc.
    There was no mention that we are now 800 days plus without a budget which is why we have to keep using CRs.

  • “Without the ability to self-correct, the media will continue with its business as usual.   And, as it has seen, on-line competition will continue to grow and prosper”
    I’m not sure “self-correct” is the correct (sorry) term here. The media is a private, for profit business. What if neither New York Times readers nor Fox News viewers want to hear unbiased news, but rather want to consume news that confirms their preconceptions?
    http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/shleifer/files/market_aea.pdf

  • The 44% of Americans who have a great deal or fair amount of trust…


    Who ARE these morons???

    looker[T]hose of us who think they’re biased are stupid, ignorant, probably Christian fundamentalists, racists, white supremacists, anti immigration and any other assorted nasty thing you can think of that justifies them not worrying about what we think of them.

    Bingo.  Other than rich libs ranting about “fair share”  while they do everything in their power to dodge paying taxes, this is the element of liberal hypocrisy that bugs me the most: they CLAIM that they are all about tolerance and inclusion, when in fact they are the nastiest, most negative, most intolerant, most close-minded, most hateful trolls one might imagine.