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Monday, 14 July 2003

Media in America

According to a new Pew report on media ownership, the American public wants pro-American news reporting that's unbiased. Whether this will lead to any more cognitive dissonance is left to the judgment of the reader. Some highlights from the report:

  • 70% think a "pro-American" view in news reporting is good, compared to 20% thinking it was bad and 10% "don't know/neither".
  • 64% though war on terrorism coverage should be neutral, 29% pro-American and 7% didn't know.
  • 65% of Fox News Channel viewers think news outlets are becoming "too critical of America", compared to 48% of CNN viewers.
  • 46% of respondents thought news networks were becoming "too critical" of America, compared to 48% who disagreed.
  • In 1993, 35% of respondents thought the press were being "too critical" of Clinton, compared to 25% in 2003 regarding Bush.
  • In 1993, 12% of respondents though the press was "not critical enough" of Clinton, compared to 23% in 2003 regarding Bush.
  • 62% of respondents believe that Bush is being treated fairly in the press, compared to 24% who disagree and 14% who don't know.
  • Despite this, 51% of respondents believe the media as a whole is liberal, compared to 26% believing it to be conservative.

The report also covered attitudes to the FCC's decision to relax media ownership rules:

  • The percentage of respondents who believed relaxing media ownership restrictions would have a negative impact rose from 34% in February to 50% in July.
  • For those who had heard a lot or a little of the FCC decision, those who believed it would result in a negative impact outnumbered those who believed it would make no difference or would have a positive impact.
  • For those who had heard nothing of the FCC decision, 54 believed its impact would be positive or make no difference, compared to 40% believing its impact to be negative.

The report is available in full and has been covered by the Washington Times and the Boston Globe.

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