2014

News Reporting is Perceived as Biased, though Less Agreement on Whether it is Liberal or Conservative Bias CNN and FOX News are channels most often turned to for political news



    ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Over six in 10 U.S. adults
 agree that there is bias in the reporting of news, though there is less
 agreement as to whether there is a liberal or conservative bias.
 Furthermore, viewers of talk shows say that the hosts of these shows are
 equally critical of Republicans and Democrats. Greater numbers of adults
 say they turn to CNN and FOX News most often when seeking news or
 information about public affairs or politics.
     These are the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 1,179 U.S. adults
 surveyed online by Harris Interactive(R) between June 7 and 13, 2006.
    Specific results from this poll include:
 
     * Almost four in 10 U.S. adults (37%) listen to talk shows on the radio at
       least once a week and about three in 10 (29%) watch political or public
       affairs TV shows at least once a week.
 
     * CNN (20%) and FOX News (18%) are the television channels adults most
       often turn to when they want news or information related to politics or
       public affairs. These are followed by the networks, including ABC (9%),
       NBC (8%) and CBS (7%). Other channels include MSNBC (5%), C-SPAN (3%),
       PBS (3%) and CNBC (1%).
 
     * When comparing those who are "heavy" users of the media (including talk
       radio and television) to "light" users, a slightly different profile
       emerges. Among "heavy" media users, FOX News is the leading channel at
       39 percent, followed by CNN at 22 percent. Among "light" media users,
       CNN is at the top (21%) followed by ABC (13%), NBC (11%), CBS (9%) and
       FOX News (8%).
 
     * When looking at the profile of viewers of TV channels that are watched
       most often for news about politics or public affairs, preferences emerge
       based on political affiliation and political philosophy. CNN's viewers
       are more likely to be Democrats (42%) or Independents (29%) than
       Republicans (19%), whereas FOX News viewers are more likely to be
       Republicans (63%) as compared to Democrats (12%) or Independents (20%).
       Similarly, FOX News viewers are more likely to say they are Conservative
       (61%) than Moderate (35%) or Liberal (4%). CNN viewers are more likely
       to say they are Moderate (61%) than Liberal (27%) or Conservative (12%).
     The potential biases associated with the media's reporting have been
 discussed a great deal. This Harris Poll explores whether the public thinks
 that talk show hosts are more critical of Democrats or Republicans. Among
 those who watch talk shows at least once a month, 22 percent think that
 talk show hosts are more critical of Democrats and 25 percent say that
 hosts are more critical of Republicans. The remaining 52 percent say that
 the hosts are equally critical of both parties.
     However, over six in 10 (63%) of Republicans agree that there is bias
 in the news reporting, with the remaining 36 percent saying they are not
 sure (31%) or think there is no bias (5%). Interestingly, the adult public
 overall thinks that there is more of a liberal bias (38%) than a
 conservative bias (25%). While this may not be altogether surprising, the
 fact that the findings don't show an even greater liberal bias is
 noteworthy.
     * Furthermore, among those who are "heavy" users of the media, a majority
       (54%) say that there is a liberal bias in news reporting, compared to 24
       percent who say there is a conservative bias. Among "light" media users
       there is less of a difference, with similar numbers saying that there is
       a liberal bias (31%) or conservative bias (25%).
 
     * CNN viewers are split on this issue, with a third (33%) saying that
       there is a liberal bias and another third (32%) saying there is a
       conservative bias.
 
     * FOX News viewers, however, strongly feel that there is a liberal bias
       (69%) as compared to 12 percent who say there is a conservative bias.
     Among adults who say that there is bias in the media, television is
 perceived as having the "greatest bias in the reporting of news" (41%).
 Seventeen percent say that print media and seven percent say that radio is
 biased in their reporting. Three in 10 (31%) say that the media overall are
 equally biased.
                                    TABLE 1
                WATCH OR LISTEN TO TALK SHOWS OR PUBLIC AFFAIRS
              "How often do you listen to talk shows on the radio?
    How often do you watch political or public affairs shows on television?"
     Base: All adults
 
                                                           Political or
                                     Talk Shows                Public
                                       on the                 Affairs
                                       Radio                  Shows on
                                                             Television
                                         %                       %
     Less than
      once a month                      54                      50
     Less than
      once a week
      but more than
      once a month                       9                      21
     Once or twice
      a week                            13                      16
     Three times a
     week or more                       25                      13
 
     Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding.
 
 
                                    TABLE 2
           TELEVISION CHANNEL TURN TO MOST OFTEN FOR NEWS RELATED TO
                           POLITICS OR PUBLIC AFFAIRS
   "When you want news or information related to politics or public affairs,
              which television channel do you turn to most often?"
    Base: All adults
 
                                                    Total        Media Usage
                                                               Heavy      Light
                                                      %          %          %
     CNN                                             20         22         21
     FOX News                                        18         39          8
     ABC                                              9          3         13
     NBC                                              8          4         11
     CBS                                              7          2          9
     MSNBC                                            5          7          4
     C-SPAN                                           3          4          2
     PBS                                              3          3          2
     CNBC                                             1          1          2
     Local cable news channel                         4          6          5
     Local broadcast news channel                     8          3         10
     Sunday morning shows (various
      broadcasts)                                     2          4          1
     Something else                                   4          3          4
     Don't watch news                                 7          -         10
 
     Note: Media usage defined:
 
     Heavy: Listen to talk radio and watch political/public affairs at least
             once a week
     Light: Listen to talk radio and watch political/public affairs at most 2-3
             times a month
 
 
                                    TABLE 3
         PROFILE OF VIEWERS OF TV CHANNELS WATCHED MOST OFTEN FOR NEWS
                        ABOUT POLITICS OR PUBLIC AFFAIRS
   "When you want news or information related to politics or public affairs,
              which television channel do you turn to most often?"
     Base: All adults
 
 
                                    Total    CNN     FOX    ABC     NBC    CBS
                                      %       %       %      %       %      %
     Political Party Affiliation
        Republicans                  29      19      63     21      27     27
        Democrats                    33      42      12     39      59     45
        Independents                 28      29      20     31      12     23
     Political Philosophy
        Conservative                 29      12      61     22      28     23
        Moderate                     50      61      35     63      46     63
        Liberal                      20      27       4     14      26     14
 
 
                                    TABLE 4
      WHICH TALK SHOWS HOSTS ARE MORE CRITICAL OF DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS
     "Thinking of the shows you listen to or watch the most, would you
 describe their host or hosts as more critical of the Democrats or more
 critical of the
                                 Republicans?"
 
     Base: Adults who listen to or watch talk shows at least once a month
 
 
                                                                TV Channel Turn
                                                                 to Most Often
                              Political Party Affiliation         for Politics
                                                                   and Public
                                                                     Affairs
                     Total   Republicans  Democrats  Independents  CNN     FOX
                       %           %          %          %         %       %
     More critical
      of Democrats     22          27         24         18        19      28
     Equally critical
      of both          52          42         52         58        54      47
     More critical
      of Republicans   25          30         24         24        27      25
 
     Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding.
 
 
                                    TABLE 5
                     IS THERE A BIAS IN REPORTING OF NEWS?
     "Some have said there is a bias in the reporting of news in television,
 radio
   or print (newspapers and magazines).Which comes closest to your opinion?"
 
     Base: All adults
 
                                Political Party Affiliation
                       Total   Republican    Democrat     Independent
                         %         %            %              %
     There is a
      liberal
      bias in the
      media             38        66           18             36
     There is no
      bias in the
      media              5         1            8              7
     There is a
      conservative bias
      in the media      25        13           37             26
     Not at all sure    31        20           36             31
 
                                     Political Philosophy
                            Conservative    Moderate       Liberal
                                 %             %              %
     There is a
      liberal
      bias in the
      media                     62            35             10
     There is no
      bias in
      the media                  3             5              9
     There is a
      conservative bias
      in the media              13            24             47
     Not at all sure            22            36             34
 
     Note: Percentages add up to more than 100 percent due to multiple
 responses accepted.
 
     Base: All adults
 
                                                                    TV Channel
                                                                   turn to Most
                                             Total   Media Usage    Often for
                                                                  Politics and
                                                                 Public Affairs
                                                   Heavy  Light    CNN    FOX
                                               %       %      %      %      %
     There is a liberal bias in the media     38      54     31     33     69
     There is no bias in the media             5       7      4      9      1
     There is a conservative bias in the
      media                                   25      24     25     32     12
     Not at all sure                          31      15     41     26     19
     Note: Percentages add up to more than 100 percent due to multiple
 responses accepted.
     Note: Media Usage defined:
      Heavy: Listen to talk radio and watch political/public affairs at least
              once a week
      Light: Listen to talk radio and watch political/public affairs at most 2-
              3 times a month
 
 
                                    TABLE 6
              WHICH MEDIA HAS GREATEST BIAS IN REPORTING OF NEWS?
     "Of the three primary media - television, radio, and print (newspapers
 and
     magazines) - which one do you feel has the greatest bias in the
 reporting of
                                     news?"
 
      Base: Adults who say there is bias in the media
 
                                          Political Party Affiliation
                                  Total   Republican    Democrat  Independent
                                    %         %            %          %
     Television                    41        44           35         44
     Print                         17        27           10         12
     Radio                          7         2           11          9
     All are equally biased        31        25           35         31
     None is more biased
      than another                  4         2            7          3
     Not sure                       1         -            3          1
 
                                         Political Philosophy
                            Conservative     Moderate       Liberal
                                 %              %              %
 
     Television                 37             47             31
     Print                      22             15             10
     Radio                       2              7             16
     All are equally biased     35             27             33
     None is more biased
      than another               3              3              8
     Not sure                    -              2              3
 
     Note: Multiple response question.
 
     Methodology
     This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between
 June 7 and 13, 2006 among 1,179 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age,
 sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted
 where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in
 the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for
 respondents' propensity to be online.
     All surveys are subject to several sources of error. These include:
 sampling error (because only a sample of a population is interviewed);
 measurement error due to question wording and/or question order,
 deliberately or unintentionally inaccurate responses, nonresponse
 (including refusals), interviewer effects (when live interviewers are used)
 and weighting.
     With one exception (sampling error) the magnitude of the errors that
 result cannot be estimated. There is, therefore, no way to calculate a
 finite "margin of error" for any survey and the use of these words should
 be avoided.
     With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is
 possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not
 other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure
 probability sample of 1,179 adults one could say with a 95 percent
 probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 3
 percentage points. However that does not take other sources of error into
 account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and
 therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
     These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the
 National Council on Public Polls.
     J28028
     Q800-Q825
 
     About Harris Interactive
     Harris Interactive is the 13th largest and fastest-growing market
 research firm in the world. The company provides research-driven insights
 and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions
 which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris
 Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest
 running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market
 research methods. The company has built what could conceivably be the
 world's largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris
 Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and
 Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a
 global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau,
 HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data
 collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking
 research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be
 obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com. To become a member of the Harris
 Poll Online, visit www.harrispollonline.com.
     The Harris Poll(R) #52, June 30, 2006
     By David Krane, Vice President, Public Affairs and Policy Research, Harris
 Interactive(R)
 
     Press Contact:
 
     Jennifer Cummings
     Harris Interactive
     585-214-7720
 
 

SOURCE Harris Interactive

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