Poll: 84% of Americans consider the media critical to democracy

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Poll: 84% of Americans consider the media critical to democracy

This is evidenced by data published by Gallup and the John and James Knight Foundation.

A recent study by the Gallup Company and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation showed the growing distrust of the media in America. 8 out of 10 Americans – this applies to both Republicans and Democrats – believe there is political bias in news coverage. However, according to the survey, many Americans believe that the media play a critical role in controlling power..

The vast majority of Americans – 84% – believe the media «critical» for democracy, the study said. 92% of respondents believe that the information disseminated should be accurate, viewers and readers should be informed about what is happening, and politicians should be held accountable for their actions.

«We found that despite these lofty aspirations, there is a growing gap between what Americans expect from the media and what they think they get from the media. We have seen a decline in media confidence over the decades. This is largely due to the growing perception of bias associated with the political preferences of news organizations.», – noted by John Sands – one of the leaders of the Knight Foundation.

According to the report, the media receive much more criticism than any other social institution in the United States. – excluding Congress – by Democrats, Republicans and independent voters. At the same time, forty-four percent of Americans say that attacks on the media are not justified..

«Americans tend to think that the media are targeted by politicians. And this… contributes to the vulnerability that Americans see in news credibility. But people disagree about whether these political attacks on the media are justified, and it is unclear to them whether the media deserves the political criticism they receive.», – told Sands.

Poll: 84% of Americans consider the media critical to democracy

Young Americans are increasingly skeptical about traditional media, according to the survey. Research indicates that internet news has become the dominant source of news for young people. At the same time, they believe that disinformation on the Internet – one of the biggest problems. This is the opinion of 78% of respondents. 73% would like big internet companies to find ways to block false information online.

John Sands notes: according to the report, interest in information in the media is closely related to participation in public and political life.

«We have found that people who read and watch local news are much more likely to be involved in important public issues. And 81 percent of these people are much more likely to vote in local elections. This is an important indicator. It really speaks volumes about the importance of building a healthy and reliable ecosystem of local news across the country.», – Sands stressed.

Survey data shows that Americans believe that the media bears some responsibility for the political division in the country: 96% of respondents think so. – Republicans, Democrats and independent voters.

The 2020 American Views Gallup and John and James Knight Foundation survey polled over 20,000 Americans. Survey results are based on data collected between November 2019 and mid-February 2020 prior to the coronavirus outbreak and the start of the anti-racial justice protest movement..

  • Alexander Yanevsky

    Journalist. Graduated from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. He has worked on Channel 1 + 1 and Channel 5, on the Voice of America since 2014, and was one of two Voice of America correspondents covering the 2018 Russian presidential elections from Moscow. He pays attention to the topic of US-Ukrainian and US-Russian relations. Actively covered the case of Paul Manafort and Maria Butina.

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