Tuesday, August 06, 2002

The Pew Report

Listening to your radio or watching TV news today you may have heard something about a "Pew report" on the media, probably talking about the believability and credibility of TV news anchors and public figures. Well, the full story, as always, is somewhat different and more unflattering. You can find the report to read for yourself here. For those with too little time, there are charts in the report you can glance over to get the gist.

Biggest finding overall is that the public's view of television news is back to where it was before 9/11. That is, skeptical. More than half of those surveyed said that news organizations are politically biased! Only one quarter thought the press was careful not to be. Nearly two-thirds think they try to cover up their mistakes. And half believed that the press gets in the way of society solving its problems!

Only a third think they get their facts straight; just over half think they report inaccurately. A constant third think the press immoral and half believe they don't care about people.

Won't see that covered too much, will ya?

About credibility, CNN rated highest, with only one third rating them as highly believable. That's a drop from six years ago, when they rated 42%. Of the three major networks, only one fourth of those surveyed found them highly believable. Local television rated similarly lowly; also dropping from a 1998 high of 34%.

Among recent presidents, George W. Bush rates highest, at 30% believe all or most of what he says. But his numbers are pretty evenly spread among the less-believable rankings. The astonisher is Bill Clinton. His most-believable numbers have dropped from 18% in 1993 to only 12% today, the lowest by far of the past four presidents. And the numbers of people who find him almost completely unbelievable has more than doubled--from 19% in 1993 to 46% today, even worse than his days of the Lewinsky Affair! Seems all that legacy work has gone for naught.

Last of all, only one in five people surveyed give high marks for believability to their local newspapers.

They must be from Tennessee.

Until next time, that is all.
Your Working Boy

No comments: