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Poynter Survey: Almost half of Americans believe the press makes up anti-Trump news

Poynter Survey: Almost half of Americans believe the press makes up anti-Trump news

Of course there’s a huge partisan divide on trust in the media, because the media is on Democrats’ side.

Poynter, which self-describes itself as “a global leader in journalism,” recently released a survey showing a wide partisan divide in trust in the media and whether the media creates fake news to attack Trump.

Not surprisingly, Democrats love, love, love and trust the media. Of course they do, the media is on their side. By contrast, Republicans understandably view the media with grave suspicion, because the media serves as lead attack dog against Trump.

Poynter called this a “wake up call”:

Yet Poynter doesn’t see that, er, point, arguing that Republicans and those who distrust the media just don’t understand. And Poynter puts the blame on Trump’s “fake news” attacks on media. But those attacks would not work if there weren’t so many times that the major news organizations created viral news that turned out to be false.

By way of example, earlier this month CNN’s Big Scoop on Don Jr. – Wikileaks Email Collapsed In Real Time.

The NY Times was not happy about this not because the story was wrong, but because it fed Trump’s “fake news” narrative:

It was also yet another prominent reporting error at a time when news organizations are confronting a skeptical public, and a president who delights in attacking the media as “fake news.”

Last Saturday, ABC News suspended a star reporter, Brian Ross, after an inaccurate report that Donald Trump had instructed Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, to contact Russian officials during the presidential race.

The report fueled theories about coordination between the Trump campaign and a foreign power, and stocks dropped after the news. In fact, Mr. Trump’s instruction to Mr. Flynn came after he was president-elect.

Several news outlets, including Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, also inaccurately reported this week that Deutsche Bank had received a subpoena from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, for President Trump’s financial records.

From the Poynter website summary article, Half of America thinks we’re making it up

Distrust of the news media didn’t start with Donald Trump, but he has amplified and stoked those doubts like no American president before him. Trump is also not the first politician to discredit any negative reporting on him, but his effort to undermine a shared understanding of facts conveyed in fair, vetted reporting takes a page from the playbooks of authoritarians in China, Cuba, Russia and Venezuela.

Stop right there. This is exactly the type of media bias and hyperbole that turns people off. Poynter apparently doesn’t get that.

The article continues:

… While Democrats have gained confidence in the press this year, Republicans’ confidence continued to erode. Strikingly, Republicans who were most tuned into the news were the least likely to trust the mainstream press.

The Poynter Media Trust Survey found 49 percent of Americans surveyed say they trust the media to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly” — the highest uptick in confidence in the media since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. That overall number masks a deep divide: 74 percent of Democrats expressed confidence in reporting, compared with only 19 percent of Republicans. (Gallup has measured a long, steady decline in confidence in the media since 1976, and also saw an uptick from an all-time low of 32 percent trust in September 2016 to 41 percent confidence in September 2017).

Disturbingly, the Poynter survey found nearly half of Americans — 44 percent — believe the press invents negative stories about the president, including 74 percent of Republicans….

Poynter’s solution?

The finding should be a fire alarm for newsrooms; a widespread, fundamental misunderstanding among the public of what we do points to an urgent need to be more transparent about how and why we report news. Remedies to begin restoring audience trust include annotating stories and linking original documents and images to show how we know what we know, and publishing reports and videos taking the audience step-by-step through ethical standards, methods, sourcing and fact-checking.

I have a better idea. Stop making sh-t up. Stop turning your publications and media outlets into all anti-Trump all the time. We are not stupid. We know what the media is doing, and almost half the population is sick of it.

Here are some of the charts from the Poynter Survey showing the sharp partisan divide:

The conclusion to the Survey (as opposed to the website article) is pretty sensible – the press needs to stop taking sides:

Given these results, the challenge for media outlets is to avoid being drawn into alignment with either of the parties. The surge in Democratic support for the press and attacks on the media from the White House are creating an even more politicized media landscape. Under these circumstances, journalists’ role in creating a shared understanding of reality across the political divide is more important than ever.


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“…publishing reports and videos taking the audience step-by-step through ethical standards…”

Oh yes, please do. Explain your industry’s ethical standards in detail and let’s all judge for ourselves how well you follow them.

Then let’s have a discussion about what happens to most professionals when they wantonly disregard their industry’s ethical standards.

Let’s go. Your move.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Paul. | December 31, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Can we all say

    “MSM Road Kill on the Information Highway?”

    Sure we can, because it has already happened to the non-stop lying Psycho Media/MSM.

Single most epic #FakeNews story this year: ABC’s report from Brian Ross that tanked the market!

I will go out and make another 2018 prediction: Trust in the media will be even lower after a spate of more #FakeNews stories.

    Tom Servo in reply to Leslie Eastman. | December 28, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Another example today – not an important one, but just proof that they do this every single day. Story, as run by MSNBC: “Melania Trump decides to get rid of 200 year old Jackson Magnolia on White House Grounds!!!”

    Actual Story: The Jackson Magnolia is rotten completely through, to the point that it is a serious safety hazard and all agree it is on the point of imminent collapse. Melania signed off on the recommendation given to her by the grounds staff, and a seedling from the tree that has died will be planted to keep the line going.

    The point is how MSNBC deliberately threw away all the context and information in this story, just so they could screech a headline that sounds “bad”.

The conclusion to the Survey (as opposed to the website article) is pretty sensible – the press needs to stop taking sides:

The conclusion isn’t sensible. Not at all.

Under these circumstances, journalists’ role in creating a shared understanding of reality across the political divide is more important than ever.

This is not a call for neutral reporting. It is a call for ever more relentless—and higher-quality—propaganda.

Now, they don’t think it’s propaganda. Not all of them, anyway. They think their hard-left vantage point is some sort of reasonable center. And they think the news should be skewed to show that. “Fake but accurate” sums up both their delusion and the rationale for their lies. Since they’re not really lies, they’re just … well … I’d have to be a Progressive to do it justice.

Dear Media: How about this? We’ll turn off your reports, and hold you personally accountable for the lies.

The fact is:
They are making it up.

Really, any competent journalist can write and source a story.

It’s when the conclusion is decided before the story is written that is the problem. Rolling Stone journalism determines which sources to use in this way.

Even when the bias is not blatant, it creeps into the reporting, and in many respects it’s full blown. What is the percentage of Trump haters among this elite?

Why do these people, and the consumers of their prejudice, pretend they are altruistic when more and more see through the curtain?

    Not only does the bias seep into the reporting when they don’t intentionally add it, it spreads into the general public’s discourse. People who are opposed to open borders are now calling illegal aliens (the legal and proper term) “undocumented immigrants” or “undocumented aliens”, etc. That is a result of the continuous and deliberate support for the illegals by the MSM and the MSM’s political arm, the Democrat Party.

    When you can control the language, you control the debate/discussion.

What the leftist media doesn’t get is that the more they bash Trump and his supporters (the latter either directly by labeling us “Nazis” and “white supremacists” or indirectly by trying to overturn our vote via some bogus impeachment charge), the more we will support him.

They are creating a Teflon coating on their enemy, one that prompts Trump voters to overlook certain things that we might otherwise be more forceful in rebuking. For example, a lot of Trump voters aren’t happy with his desire to see DACA ensconced in law. When this is weighed, however, against the soft coup progressives on the left and right have planned for Trump, it’s a nothing-burger. What’s DACA compared to undermining the Constitution and the peaceful transfer of power?

They don’t know it, but the anti-Trump media and #NeverTrump weirdos are actually strengthening his support . . . and are too stupid to get that simple fact.

Case in point; CNN. A study earlier this year showed that 93% of its coverage of Trump was negative. All CNN hosts are liberals. They use stacked panels with three Democrats and a so-called Republican like Ana Navaro, a very liberal Bushie or someone like SE Cupp, who will say whatever CNN wants to hear if the price is right.

“a widespread, fundamental misunderstanding among the public of what we do”

Actually, it shows a widespread, fundamental and accurate understanding among the public of what you do.

“Almost half of Americans believe the press makes up anti-Trump news …”

And the other half is not paying attention, because the press is definitely making up anti-Trump fake news propaganda.

Please stop trying to reform the media. You’d have better luck restoring virtue to a whore.

And we are way past the point where a little bit of fairness from their side will even things out and allow them to continue on.

I’m quite happy to let them remain discredited and fake

PersonFromPorlock | December 28, 2017 at 7:17 am

All the Republicans need to do for 2018 is point to a dozen or so op-eds and stories in the Washington Post and ask “Do you really want to put these lunatics back in power?”.

Love the picture!

The mainstream media needs to be classified as a Political Advocate rather than a news source. They are in the same category as the DNC and should be subjected to the same limitations.

    Milhouse in reply to texasron. | December 28, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    What limitations? This is the USA, there are no limitations on political advocacy, and newspapers have every legal right to be political advocates if they like. What they lack is the moral pretend that they’re not doing so when they are.

The solution has been known for years and completely ignored: Hire staff who represent the spectrum of views of the population. If a news organization does that from the top down, then we will have, as Fox says it, fair and balanced news.

Almost all newspapers and news networks are owned or controlled by seven people. Most are operated at a loss, which means they are subsidized by someone or some interest group.

Nothing is going to change.

“News” people stopped being about “news” some time ago. They are and have been about their opinion. They form and opinion, based on their liberal bias and then seek to prove it.

The problem with this is that a lot of people now have someplace else to get facts. So they’re bias is obvious to any who want to see it. Those that agree with it sadly don’t see a problem.

The Most Damaging Lies Are Told By Those That Believe That They’re True.

What has changed in fifty years? Did the press ever give Nixon a break? Ford was portrayed as a bumbling fool. Carter was brilliant. Reagan was a doddering old fool of a warmonger. Bush I was Reagan light. Bill Clinton was hip and cool (playing sax and wearing shades on Arsenio). Bush II was the personification of evil. Obama, our savior, was also brilliant. The only difference I see in these fifty years is the complete lack of pretense to being objective.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | December 28, 2017 at 12:32 pm

I watched Marty Baron and Dean Baquet be interviewed on CSPAN a few weeks ago. They both said subscriptions to their papers, WaPo and the NYT, have increased substantially this year.

You’d expect readers to cancel subscriptions after the papers have gotten so much wrong. Instead, new subscribers are signing up in droves. Why?

My theory is the lack of neutrality and objectivity is actually driving the resurgence in subscriptions. WaPo and NYT are in left wing cities with large majorities of left wing, Trump hating, Democrat voters (Hillary got 91% of the vote in Washington DC). They are incented to push negative stories about Trump. That is what their left wing, Trump hating readers want to read. The papers are not penalized with cancelled subscriptions after some of the stories fall apart later. So they keep pushing the negative, not fully vetted stories because the market is not penalizing them when the stories fall apart.

    Very true. Extreme leftists subscribe to the NY Times and WaPo and watch CNN and MSNBC. I generally agree with FNC and like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, but there’s no way I’ll watch much the same thing I saw two hours earlier and watch the same contributors night after night.

“The papers are not penalized” by liberal readers when the story falls apart.

I think this is because liberals are do invested in narrative building instead of truth. It’s something I learned on Facebook when I finally realized my liberal friends who posted political distortions werent are looking for a debate, they were trying to create a new reality and resented me interrupting with facts that dispelled their illusion crafting.

Remember the adage about putting on a happy face? Or how some people avoid negativity at any cost to improve their quality of life? I think this is an offshoot of that. Once a person learns that they can ignore reality without consequences, the next step is to create your own little bubble.

Which is why these papers are punished for getting everything wrong. They are viewed as Magisters helping to weave a new reality where Trump is Hitler, the GOP is massacring minorities and the Liberal reader is part of the glorious Resistance.

Damn phone, many edits but primarily “why these papers are NOT punished for getting it wrong “