The vast majority of Americans think that there is political bias in news coverage, a new Gallup/Knight Foundation poll found.
6% of Americans said that the media is biased, with 49% of respondents saying that there is “a great deal” of political bias in news coverage and 37% saying there is “a fair amount” of bias, according to the poll.
People are more concerned with other people’s news sources than they are with their own; when given a choice, 69% of Americans were concerned about bias in the news that other people were viewing, while 29% were concerned about the bias in their own news sources. 56% of respondents agreed that there was political bias in the news source that they relied on the most, the poll found.
The poll found that Americans are divided along party lines when it comes to trusting the media. Republicans distrust the media more than Democrats – 71% of Republicans reported viewing the media “very” or “somewhat” unfavorably, while 22% of Democrats and 52% of independents said the same.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized “fake news” and media bias, and Democrats and Republicans differ in their views of such attacks. They agree that the media is under attack, but 70% of Democrats who agree that the media is being attacked say that it is not warranted, while 61% of Republicans who think the media is under attack say that it is justified.
The poll also found that Americans viewed political bias in news as a “major problem” and that they perceive inaccuracies in news as purposeful and intended to push a specific agenda.
73% of respondents said that bias is a “major problem,” compared to 65% who said it was a major problem in 2017. A majority of Americans – 54% – said that inaccuracies were intentional because reporters were misrepresenting facts, and 28% believed reporters made up facts entirely, the poll found.
When asked about news organizations that they distrust, 89% of Americans said that those organizations are trying to push a certain agenda. Only 12% said that the organizations they distrust were failing to report the facts accurately despite an honest attempt to do so.
The spread of misinformation online was the issue that most people – 78% – agreed was a “major problem.” 73% of respondents wanted to see internet companies do something to curb the spread of misinformation online.