Editor & Publisher: New Survey Finds Huge Gap Between Press and Public on Many Issues By Joe Strupp
A new survey to be released Monday reveals a wide gap on many media issues between a group of journalists and the general public. In one finding, 43% of the public say they believe the press has too much freedom, while only 3% of journalists agree. Just 14% of the public can name “freedom of the press” as a guarantee in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in the major poll conducted by the University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy. Six in ten among the public feel the media show bias in reporting the news, and 22% say the government should be allowed to censor the press. More than 7 in 10 journalists believe the media does a good or excellent job on accuracy--but only 4 in 10 among the public feel that way. And a solid 53% of the public think stories with unnamed sources should not be published at all. Perhaps the widest gap of all: 8 in 10 journalists said they read blogs, while less than 1 in 10 others do so. Still, a majority of the news pros do not believe bloggers deserve to be called journalists. Asked who they voted for in the past election, the journalists reported picking Kerry over Bush by 68% to 25%. In this sample of 300 journalists, from both newspapers and TV, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 3 to 1--but about half claim to be Independent. As in previous polls, a majority (53%) called their political orientation “moderate,” versus 28% liberal and 10% conservative.