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Tags: media | pew research center | watchdog | fake news

Americans Sharply Divided on Media Watchdog Role

Protesters support journalists
(David Zalubowski/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 September 2018 06:05 PM EDT

Americans are more divided than ever on the watchdog role of the news media, a new survey found.

According to the Pew Research Center study released Tuesday, 82 percent of Democrats say they support the news media’s watchdog role, believing its criticism keeps political leaders from doing things that should not be done.

But 58 percent of Republicans think news media criticism gets in the way of political leaders doing their job, the survey found.

The 44-percentage-point gap — along with the 47-point difference last year — are the largest measured in the more than three decades the question has been asked, Pew Research stated. 

Members of the two parties were about equally likely to support the news media's watchdog role in 2016 during the Obama administration, Pew reported.

According to the Pew survey, 68 percent of Americans continue to think the news media favor one side when covering political and social issues, compared with 3-in-10 who say they deal fairly with all sides. Broken down along party lines, 86 percent of GOP voters think the media show favoritism, while 52 percent of Democrats think so.

In other findings:

  • 21 percent of Americans have a lot of trust in the information they get from national news organizations; 4 percent say that about information they get from social media sites.
  • 71 percent say they are confident in the accuracy of information that news organizations present; 68 percent think news outlets try to cover up their mistakes.
  • 58 percent believe news organizations do not understand the people they serve, and 56 percent feel disconnected from their main source of news.
  • The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.

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The watchdog role of the news media has Americans more divided than ever, the Pew Research Center found.
media, pew research center, watchdog, fake news
Tuesday, 25 September 2018 06:05 PM
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