A tale of two surveys, one by Pew and one by Gallup, one on media bias and one on media trust.
Journalists in the United States differ markedly from the general public in their views of “bothsidesism” – whether journalists should always strive to give equal coverage to all sides of an issue – according to a recent Pew Research Center study. A little more than half of the journalists surveyed (55%) say that every side does not always deserve equal coverage in the news. By contrast, 22% of Americans overall say the same, whereas about three-quarters (76%) say journalists should always strive to give all sides equal coverage.
The “bothsidesism” framing by Pew, a term coined by lefties to complain that the media isn’t biased enough. The media and Pew sneeringly reject any such notion.
And here’s the result.
Americans’ confidence in two facets of the news media — newspapers and television news — has fallen to all-time low points. Just 16% of U.S. adults now say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers and 11% in television news. Both readings are down five percentage points since last year.
The percentage of Americans who say they have “very little” or volunteer that they have no confidence is currently the highest on record, at 46%.
The “bothsidesism” framing really means that the media should be partisan. And a partisan media won’t be trusted.
Conservatives and independents distrust the media because of its leftist bias, while many leftists think that the media is too neo-liberal and insufficiently biased.
A partisan media in a very partisan society is an echo chamber for a small subset of a faction. It can speak to maybe 9% of the country and even that’s pushing it. Political advocacy is fine, but it’s only going to reach a limited percentage of the public. The media however insists on acting as if it should be the arbiter of discourse for the entire country and that its existence is vital to democracy. And the more the media insists on this narrative tyranny, the fewer people trust it.
A media that tried to be objective would have more trust. Instead, the media chases politics and the more aggressively it chases its agenda, the fewer people, even on its own side, trust it except for those whose views perfectly align with those of the media.
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