WKU Public Radio News Staff
Thu June 19, 2008
Most Americans believe news media is biased in Election Reporting
By Dan Modlin
Bowling Green, KY – A recent poll released by Rasmussen Reports says that just 17 percent of people polled nationwide believe that reporters try to give unbiased coverage of election campaigns. The statistics raise a number of questions about the quality and fairness of reporting in covering this year's presidential campaign.
"68 percent of those polled believe that most reporters try to help the candidate they like, which is four times as many as the number who say they think that reporters are offering unbiased coverage," said Scott Rasmussen, president of the polling firm Rasmussen Reports.
"People just assume that the reports they're seeing on TV or what they're reading have an agenda behind them," he said.
According to Rasmussen, the poll indicated that the public believes that Barack Obama has received the most favorable media coverage of all the candidates. The candidate who was treated the worst by the media was Hillary Clinton, according to the 1,000 likely voters surveyed by Rasmussen Reports in early June.
The Rasmussen poll indicates that Republicans have the lowest view of the objectivity of reporters.
"Republicans continue to believe that media is too biased, and 80 percent of Republicans believe that the media has too much influence over the process. Only 65 percent of Democrats agree," Rasmussen said.
Unaffiliated voters sided with Republicans in terms of the media's influence on politics. 80 percent of independents polled said the media is too influential in the campaign process.
Rasmussen emphasized that given the increased number of news sources available, news consumers must look to multiple sources for their information.
He added that the news media is changing rapidly and will continue to evolve in the coming years.
"I have no idea what the media will look like 5 years from today," he said.