Twenty Years of Research Showing What Journalists Think, How Journalists Vote, What the Public Thinks About the Media, and What Journalists Say About Media Bias
Media Bias 101 summarizes more than 25 years of survey research showing how journalists vote, what journalists think, what the public thinks about the media, and what journalists say about media bias. The following links take you to more than 40 different surveys, with key findings and illustrative charts.
A printer-friendly formatted 50-page version of the report (updated through 2009) is available in PDF format here (921 kB).
Part One: What Journalists Think
Surveys over the past 30 years have consistently found that journalists — especially those at the highest ranks of their profession — are much more liberal than rest of America. They are more likely to vote liberal, more likely to describe themselves as liberal, and more likely to agree with the liberal position on policy matters than members of the general public.
Exhibit 1-1: The Media Elite
Exhibit 1-2: Major Newspaper Reporters
Exhibit 1-3: The American Journalist
Exhibit 1-4: U.S. Newspaper Journalists
Exhibit 1-5: Survey of Business Reporters
Exhibit 1-6: Journalists - Who Are They, Really?
Exhibit 1-7: White House Reporters
Exhibit 1-8: The Media Elite Revisited
Exhibit 1-9: Washington Bureau Chiefs and Correspondents
Exhibit 1-10: Newspaper Journalists of the 1990s
Exhibit 1-11: Newspaper Editors
Exhibit 1-12: The People and the Press: Whose Views Shape the News?
Exhibit 1-13: How Journalists See Journalists in 2004
Exhibit 1-14: Campaign Journalists (2004)
Exhibit 1-15: TV and Newspaper Journalists
Exhibit 1-16: Journalists' Ethics and Attitudes, 2005
Exhibit 1-17: The News Media and the War, 2005
Exhibit 1-18: Slate Magazine Pre-Election Staff Survey
Part Two: How the Public Views the Media
A wide variety of public opinion polls have documented the fact that most Americans now see the media as politically biased, inaccurate, intrusive, and a tool of powerful interests. By a nearly three-to-one margin, those who see political bias believe the media bend their stories to favor liberals.
Exhibit 2-1: The People and The Press, 1997
Exhibit 2-2: What the People Want from the Press
Exhibit 2-3: ASNE Journalism Credibility Project, 1998
Exhibit 2-4: The People and The Press, 2000
Exhibit 2-5: Gallup Polls on Media Bias
Exhibit 2-6: The People and The Press, 2003
Exhibit 2-7: Bias in the 2004 Presidential Campaign
Exhibit 2-8: Missouri School of Journalism 2004
Exhibit 2-9: American Journalism Review, 2005
Exhibit 2-10: CBS's "State of the Media," 2006
Exhibit 2-11: Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet/Zogby Survey
Exhibit 2-12: Coverage of the War in Iraq, 2007
Exhibit 2-13: Rasmussen Reports on Media Bias, 2007
Exhibit 2-14: Harvard's "National Leadership Index" Survey (2007)
Exhibit 2-15: Sacred Heart University Polling Institute (2007)
Exhibit 2-16: Public Reaction to Media Coverage of the 2008 Primaries
Exhibit 2-17: Rasmussen Reports on Campaign 2008 Bias
Exhibit 2-18: Public Overwhelmingly Saw Favoritism For Obama
Exhibit 2-19: Pew Study Finds Media Credibility Plummets
Exhibit 2-20: Confidence In Media Hits New Low
Exhibit 2-21: Trust and Satisfaction with the National Media (2009)
Exhibit 2-22: News Media Both Too Liberal and Too Powerful (2009)
Exhibit 2-23: 2010 Surveys Find Two-Thirds of Public Is “Angry” at the Media
Exhibit 2-24: Gallup Finds Media Distrusted, Public’s Confidence Low (2011)
Exhibit 2-25: Pew Finds Record Low Respect for News Media (2011)
Exhibit 2-26: Record High 67% See Political Bias in News Media
Part Three: What Journalists Say about Media Bias
Over the years, the Media Research Center has catalogued the views of journalists on the subject of bias. In spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, many journalists still refuse to acknowledge that most of the establishment media tilts to the left. Even so, a number of journalists have admitted that the majority of their brethren approach the news from a liberal angle.
Journalists Denying Liberal Bias
More Journalists Denying Liberal Bias
Still More Journalists Denying Liberal Bias
Journalists Admitting Liberal Bias
More Journalists Admitting Liberal Bias