Study: Americans Think News Media Needed for Democracy, But Untrustworthy
Many Americans describe the news media as "very biased," but they still believe the work of reporters is important to democracy.
That is the finding of a report from the Knight Foundation, a not-for-profit group, and the research company Gallup.
Knight and Gallup questioned more than 20,000 American adults between November 8, 2019 and February 16, 2020. That was before the United States began taking steps to fight the novel coronavirus. It was also before protests over the death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police.
The study's findings – called "sobering" in the report – suggest that Americans increasingly distrust the news media.
John Sands is director of learning and impact at the Knight Foundation. He said that when half of Americans have concerns about the news "it's going to be impossible for our democracy to function."
The study confirmed sharp differences of opinion between supporters of the two major parties in the United States.
For example, it found that 71 percent of Republican Party members had a "very" or "somewhat" unfavorable opinion of the news media. Fifty-two percent of independent voters and 22 percent of Democratic Party members also had unfavorable opinions.
However, 54 percent of Democrats had a favorable opinion of the press. Only 13 percent of Republicans felt the same way.
Sands said this finding is not new and added the differences between the two sides have become deeper over the years.
"Moving the dial on these attitudes becomes more and more difficult for media organizations," he said.
The study did not try to identify reasons for the differences in opinion about the news media. U.S. President Donald Trump often calls stories he does not like "fake news."
Studies show that more than 90 percent of media reports on Trump and his administration are "negative" or appear hostile toward the president.
Who is to blame?
Among those questioned in the study, 48 percent said the news media has a great deal of responsibility for the country's political divisions. Seventy-three percent believe that too much bias in news reporting is a major problem. That represents an increase of eight percent from two years ago.
In addition, Americans did not believe that reporters make honest mistakes. Instead, 54 percent said they believed reporters misrepresented facts, while 28 percent said reporters made up some of their information.
Knight and Gallup found that 41 percent of Americans have a great deal of trust in the ability of the media to report the news fairly. However, that is down from 55 percent in a similar study from 1999.
A big majority of Americans, 84 percent, still believe that, in general, the news media is either "very important" or "critical" to democracy.
I'm Mario Ritter Jr.
We tore from them the mask of democracy.
His report is highly critical of the trial judge.
Rainfall has been fairly well-distributed this year.
The information was passed on to another government department.
5.A big majority of Americans, 84 percent, still believe that, in general, the news media is either "very important" or "critical" to democracy.
a majority of 大多数的...
Members of parliament approved the move by a majority of ninety-nine.
Another minister clung on with a majority of only 18.
6.A big majority of Americans, 84 percent, still believe that, in general, the news media is either "very important" or "critical" to democracy.
in general 通常
I disagree with drug laws in general.
She had a confused idea of life in general.
奈特基金会和盖洛普公司于2019年11月8日到2020年2月16日期间，对2万多名美国成年人进行了调查 。那是在美国开始采取措施应对新冠病毒之前 。也是在针对黑人男子乔治·弗洛伊德被明尼阿波利斯警员跪杀而引发的抗议活动之前 。
约翰·桑兹（John Sands）是奈特基金会的学习和影响总监 。他说，当半数美国人对新闻感到忧虑时，我们的民主将无法正产运转 。
例如，该研究发现，71%的共和党人对新闻媒体“非常”或“稍微”持有成见 。52%的独立选民和22%的民主党人也对新闻媒体有所成见 。
然而，54%的民主党人对新闻媒体表示支持 。而只有13%的共和党人持相同看法 。
该研究并未分析对新闻媒体存在意见分歧的原因 。美国总统特朗普常把个人不喜欢的新闻称为“假新闻 。”
在接受调查的受访者中，48%的人表示，新闻媒体对美国的政治分歧负有很大责任 。73%的人认为，新闻报道中的偏见是一个大问题 。这一问题较两年前增长了8% 。
此外，美国人认为这并非是记者的无心之过 。相反，54%的人表示，他们认为是记者在歪曲事实，还有28%的人称，记者杜撰了一些新闻 。
奈特基金会和盖洛普公司发现，41%的美国人非常信任媒体公正报道新闻的能力 。不过，在1999年的一项类似研究中，这一比例曾高达为55% 。