Liberal Media

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Maverick74, May 23, 2004.

  1. Maverick74


    Pew Survey Finds Moderates, Liberals Dominate News Outlets

    By E & P Staff

    Published: May 23, 2004 4:00 PM EST

    NEW YORK Those convinced that liberals make up a disproportionate share of newsroom workers have long relied on Pew Research Center surveys to confirm this view, and they will not be disappointed by the results of Pew's latest study released today.

    While most of the journalists, like many Americans, describe themselves as "moderate," a far higher number are "liberal" than in the general population.

    At national organizations (which includes print, TV and radio), the numbers break down like this: 34% liberal, 7% conservative. At local outlets: 23% liberal, 12% conservative. At Web sites: 27% call themselves liberals, 13% conservatives.

    This contrasts with the self-assessment of the general public: 20% liberal, 33% conservative.

    The survey of 547 media professionals, completed this spring, is part of an important study released today by The Project for Excellence in Journalism and The Committee of Concerned Journalists, which mainly concerns more general issues related to newsrooms (an E & P summary will appear Monday).

    While it's important to remember that most journalists in this survey continue to call themselves moderate, the ranks of self-described liberals have grown in recent years, according to Pew. For example, since 1995, Pew found at national outlets that the liberal segment has climbed from 22% to 34% while conservatives have only inched up from 5% to 7%.

    The survey also revealed what some are sure to label a "values" gap. According to Pew, about 60% of the general public believes it is necessary to believe in God to be a truly moral person. The new survey finds that less than 15% of those who work at news outlets believe that. About half the general public believes homosexuality should be accepted by society -- but about 80% of journalists feel that way.

    When the question of which news organizations actually tilted left or right, there was one clear candidate: Fox News. Fully 69% of national journalists, and 42% of those at the local level, called Fox News "especially conservative." Next up was The New York Times, which about one in five labeled "especially liberal."

    Not surprisingly, views of how the press has treated President Bush break down along partisan lines. More than two out of three liberals feel the press has not been tough enough on Bush, while half the conservatives feel the media has been too tough.

    Still, a little over half of national journalists (53%) give national media coverage of the administration an A or B rating.

    While the sample of 547 interviewees is not large, Pew says that this selection represents "a cross-section of news organizations and of the people working at all levels of those organizations." Newspapers were identified and circulation ranked using the 2003 Editor & Publisher International Year Book.

    In an essay accompanying the survey, the directors of the sponsoring groups -- Bill Kovach, Tom Rosenstiel and Amy Mitchell --declare that broad conclusions about the political findings should be tempered by analyzing some of the details in the findings. For example, they identify strong "libertarian" leanings among jouurnalists, including doubts about the role of "big government."