(PoliticalLookout.com)- America is divided.
But politicians aren’t to blame.
It’s the media’s fault.
According to a poll released Tuesday, an overwhelming majority of Americans believe the press has a political bias that is contributing toward the divide in the country.
The poll conducted by the Knight Foundation and Gallup found that 86% of Americans feel media outlets have a lean to one side or the other politically. In addition, 49% feel there’s “a great deal” of that bias, with 37% saying there’s “a fair amount.”
Even most Americans (56%) who say they have a go-to source for news believe that source has some form of bias. Of them, 20% say there’s a “great deal” of bias, with 36% feeling there’s “a fair amount” of bias.
What’s even more concerning is that people are very distrustful about media outlets that they don’t consider their preferred sources. The poll found that 69% of people said they have worry about these other news sources. These same people aren’t very concerned about their own news source, with only 29% of people saying they have concern.
This distrust of the American media is growing, too. The recent poll showed that 73% of Americans believe too much bias in what is supposed to be objective reporting is a “major problem.” That’s compared to 65% of people who felt that way back in 2017.
Overall, though, the biggest item to come out of the study is that 84% of Americans feel “the media is to blame for political division in this country.” What’s more, nearly 80% of people feel news organizations they don’t trust are “trying to persuade people to adopt a certain viewpoint.
Only 12% of Americans feel media outlets are attempting to report “accurately and fairly but are unable to do so.” And 74% of people feel that media company owners are “influencing coverage.”
But it doesn’t just come from the top. When it comes to reporters, 54% of Americans feel they are “misrepresenting the facts.” Another 28% of people feel reporters are “making [facts] up entirely.” And 78% of Americans believe “misinformation” being shared on social media platforms is “the leading problem with news today.”
In other words, gone are the days of independent media whose only goal is to seek and report on the truth. A large swatch of Americans now believe that the media has lost that integrity and objectivity, and it is negatively affecting the entire country.
The biggest divide among survey respondents comes in age. Of Americans who are 65 years old and older, 44% view the media either “very” or “somewhat” favorably. Of Americans who are 30 years old or younger, only 19% feel the same way about the media.
Still, despite all these negative thoughts about the media in general, 84% of Americans polled said news media is either “very important” or “critical” to democracy. Only 8% of people think the media is “trying to ruin the country.”