Media bias is no longer a problem perceived only by conservative bloggers. A Gallup poll last fall found 60% didn’t trust mass media but a new survey from USA Today and the Newseum Institute finds that 70% of Americans believe the media is biased.

Clearly, the scandals of Brian Williams and George Stephanopolous played a role.

Bradford Thomas of Truth Revolt:

Media Fail: 70% Believe News Reporting Intentionally Biased

A new survey by USA Today and the First Amendment Center found that Americans’ distrust of the news media has skyrocketed over the last year, the number of American adults believing news reporting is biased jumping up to 70 percent, while less than a quarter now say they trust the news media.

The 2015 State of the First Amendment Survey released Friday found that only 24 percent of American adults believe that “overall, the news media tries to report the news without bias,” a 17-point drop from last year and the lowest number since the poll began in 2004. More than two-thirds, 70 percent, disagreed with that statement, a 15-point increase since last year.

One positive finding in the survey was an increase in support for the First Amendment.

Roger Yu of USA Today:

Study: Americans’ support of First Amendment grows

Americans’ support for the First Amendment rebounded strongly over the past year, a new study says.

Three-quarters of Americans say it “does not go too far” in ensuring Americans’ freedom. That’s a jump from 57% last year after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 stirred public debate about the role of social media during a crisis and the media’s use of shocking images, according to State of the First Amendment 2015, a report by the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center in partnership with USA TODAY.

A year ago, 38% said the First Amendment goes too far, but the current survey shows only 19% agrees with the sentiment.

In terms of bias, the partisan breakdown is worth mentioning:

Older audiences are more likely to buy into the media’s mantle of objectivity, with 26% of those 50 or older agreeing with the claim. Only 7% of 18-29 year olds agree. Democrats (36%) are much more likely to believe in the the news media try to report without bias as opposed to Republicans (19%).

Other findings in the survey are worth noting, particularly with regard to gay marriage:

*Serving gay couples: Despite advancements in gay rights, the percentage of people who agree that wedding service providers should be required to serve same-sex couples has fallen to 38% from 52% in 2013.

You can read the entire Newseum report here.

The media bias aspect is interesting but the increased support for the First Amendment is remarkable.

Featured image is a screen cap via USA Today.


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