Aug 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

73% see bias in news reporting as "a major problem"

Photo illustration of students holding up newspapers
Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo. Photo by Kevin Sullivan/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

73% of Americans see bias in news reporting as "a major problem," according to a study out Tuesday from the Knight Foundation and Gallup.

Why it matters: That's up from 65% in 2017, indicating "the gap between what Americans expect from the news — and what they think they are getting — is growing," the Knight Foundation writes.

By the numbers: Views on media bias, like most issues, cut along partisan lines. 71% of Republicans indicated they have a very or somewhat unfavorable opinion of the news media, compared to 22% of Democrats and 52% of independents.

  • 48% of Americans blamed the media "a great deal" for the country's political division.
  • Only a fifth of adults under 30 said they have a "very" or "somewhat" favorable opinion of the news media, versus 44% of those aged 65 and older.

The bottom line: Despite their overall skepticism, 84% of Americans still said the news media is "critical" or "very important" to providing accurate information and holding the powerful accountable.

Methodology: Results in this poll were based on self-administered mail surveys from a random sample of 20,046 U.S. adults. Surveys were collected between Nov. 8, 2019, and Feb. 16, 2020. The poll has a margin of error of ±1 percentage point.

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