May 10, 2017

Sharpest divide ever between parties on media criticism

Democrats and Republicans are the most divided they've ever been on whether news organizations' criticism of political leaders keeps them from doing things they shouldn't or keeps them from doing their job, a new Pew Research poll found.

Data: Pew Research Center; Note: From 1985-2013 polls were conducted over the phone. In 2016 and 2017 the polls were conducted online by the American Trends Panel; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Battle lines: Nearly 90 percent of Democrats say news criticism keeps political leaders in check while roughly 40 percent of Republicans feel the same — that's nearly a 50 percent gap. The results are a significant shift from the early months of 2016 during the presidential primary, when Democrats (74%) and Republicans (77%) nearly agreed on the watchdog role the media played.

Why it matters: The findings suggest Americans' view of the media's purpose depends on how it benefits their party. The last time the gap was this wide was in 2005, when Republicans also controlled The White House and both houses in Congress.

What we're watching: Pew notes that this division extends to Americans' behaviors around news. Other recent Pew studies show that attitudes and the understanding of the media have shifted due to the rise of smartphones and social media.

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Poll: 56% of Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of Iran crisis

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

56% of Americans say they disapprove of President Trump's handling of heightened tensions with Iran, according to an ABC News poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.

Why it matters: 52% of Americans said the Trump administration's decision to kill Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike makes them feel "less safe," despite assurances from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top officials that the U.S. is safer with Soleimani gone.

Go deeperArrowJan 12, 2020

Most Americans think measles vaccine has "very high" preventative care benefits

A vial containing the MMR vaccine. Photo: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

56% of Americans believe the measles vaccine has "very high" preventative care benefits — an 11-point increase since 2016, according to data out Tuesday from the Pew Research Center.

The big picture: While overall approval of the vaccine (88%) has remained unchanged, Pew credits the increase in perceived preventative health benefits to improved awareness of how measles outbreaks have become a public health problem.

Go deeper: America's dangerous backslide on infectious diseases

A year of media upheaval

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

2019 was a transformative year for the U.S. news media industry, but it was also one of the most turbulent points in its history.

The big picture: There were enormous business challenges, which resulted in an unprecedented number of layoffs, desperate product maneuvers and fire-sale deals.

Go deeperArrowDec 21, 2019