Poll results found 83.6% saw national news media organizations as very or somewhat biased while just 14.1% viewed them as somewhat unbiased or not at all biased. Some, 2.4%, were unsure.
A large majority, 89.3%, suggested the national media played a very or somewhat strong role in helping to elect President Obama. Just 10.0% suggested the national media played little or no role. Further, 69.9% agreed the national news media are intent on promoting the Obama presidency while 26.5% disagreed. Some, 3.6% were unsure.
Over half of Americans surveyed, 56.4%, said they agreed that the news media are promoting President Obama’s healthcare reform without objective criticism. Another 39.3% disagreed and 4.3% were unsure. Further, a majority, 57.6% of those surveyed agreed that the news media appear to be coordinating efforts to diminish the record of former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin. One third, 34.6%, disagreed and 7.9% were unsure.
“It is sad,” suggested Jerry C. Lindsley, director of the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute, “when we find that only 55.9% say they expect the media to tell them the truth today.” He added, “This perception of bias will eventually catch up with the news media outlets – we found 45.9% have permanently stopped watching a news media organization, print or electronic, because of perceived bias.”
Newspaper readership keeps dropping (38.1% say they read the newspaper less now than five years ago).
With one exception, the number of Americans watching major TV news outlets has also dropped. Fox News viewership tops the "most frequently turned to" TV news rating list at 28.4%. And while Fox showed a gain of 1.9% from 2007 figures, all the other major TV players have lost viewership. CNN at 14.9% has lost 1.1%; NBC News at 10.6% has lost 1.2%; ABC News at 9.3% has lost 1.7% and even "local news" at 7.6% has lost 0.9%. CBS News came in 6th with only 7.4% who turn to it frequently for news.