Preparing for a panel discussion on the media, the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands commissioned a poll of 673 journalists, including 424 from newspapers, 48 from broadcast and cable networks, 47 from top-50-market local television stations, 45 from Web sites, 41 from other television stations, 26 from national radio networks, 18 from wire services, 14 from top-50-market local radio stations and 10 from magazines. The surveys were conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates between March 7 and May 2, 2005, with the results released on May 24, 2005. The poll asked questions on journalistic ethics and about journalists' views on issues and overall ideology.
Nearly all journalists (95%) rated 'the ethical practices of journalists' as either 'very good' (32%) or 'somewhat good.' A majority of the same group (56%) found the 'ethical practices of politicians' either 'somewhat bad' or 'very bad.'
Most journalists also said they thought 'news organizations get the facts straight' (86%) and that 'most news organizations quickly report' any mistakes (74%), compared to just three percent who saw a propensity to 'try to cover up' mistakes.
Only 10 percent of reporters thought a major reason for CBS's use of forged memos in the infamous National Guard story was because 'CBS News and Dan Rather are liberals who dislike President Bush,' with most (54%) saying that was 'not a reason at all.'
Most of the journalists (76%) said they thought the story ran because 'CBS News and Dan Rather believed the story was accurate and provided new information about the controversy surrounding Bush's service in the National Guard.'
A total of 31 percent described themselves as 'very liberal' or 'liberal' compared to just nine percent who identified themselves as 'very conservative' or 'conservative,' with 49 percent maintaining they are 'moderate.'
More than half of the journalists (57%) said they attend worship services only 'a few times a year' (34%) or 'never' (23%), compared to 27 percent who said they attend either 'every week' (17%) or 'almost every week' (10%).
Nearly three in five journalists (59%) favored laws allowing 'two men or two women to marry each other.' Among the general public, only 28 percent favored so-called same-sex marriage.