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Exhibit 2-22: News Media Both Too Liberal and Too Powerful

The results of a survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted October 22-23, 2009 by Rasmussen Reports suggest most voters believe media bias skews government policy to the left. Rasmussen found that 53% of those surveyed agreed that the average reporter was “more liberal” than the average voter, while an even larger margin, 61%, complained that the media have “too much power and influence over government decisions.”

KEY FINDINGS:

  • Fifty-three percent (53%) of U.S. voters think the average reporter is “more liberal” than they are, while 16% say “more conservative” and 23% say the average reporter is “about the same as they are ideologically.”

  • Most voters (61%) “say the news media has too much power and influence over government decisions” compared to 11% who say the media has “too little power and influence.”

  • Similarly, “62% believe that what the media thinks is more important to the average member of Congress than what voters think. Just 27% say what voters think is more important to the average congressman.”

  • Eighty-five percent say they trust their own judgment more than the average reporter when it comes to the important issues affecting the nation. Only 4% trust the average reporter more; 11% aren’t sure.

  • Rasmussen also found: “Two-out-of-three voters (67%) say most reporters when covering a political campaign try to help the candidate they want to win,” vs. just 21% who say “most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage.”

[Update, January 2010: A Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted January 12-13, 2010 reaffirmed the findings of the October 2009 surveys. Rasmussen found 51% of voters continue to say the average reporter is more liberal than they are, essentially unchanged from the earlier survey, while 67% believe the news media have too much power and influence over government decisions, up six points from October 2009.]

Previous: Exhibit 2-21: Trust and Satisfaction with the National Media (2009)
Next: Exhibit 2-23: 2010 Surveys Find Two-Thirds of Public Is “Angry” at the Media

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