Nearly seven in 10 Americans more concerned about bias in news others consume: poll

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Nearly seven in 10 Americans surveyed in a new poll — 69 percent — said they are more concerned about bias in the news others consume than in coverage they view themselves.

Six in seven Americans also said they believe there is at least “a fair amount” of political bias in news coverage in general, according to research from Gallup and the Knight Foundation released Thursday. A majority also agreed that it can be found in “the news source they rely on most.”

Education levels are also a key metric regarding respondents’ perspective on bias, pollsters found. 

“Differences in Americans’ concern about the bias other people are exposed to are particularly striking when viewed by education level, with higher concern seen at each level of educational attainment,” the study finds. “Specifically, whereas 52 percent of Americans with a high school education or less are more concerned about bias in others’ news than in their own, the figure is 64 percent among those with some college education and is even higher among college graduates, 73 percent, and those with postgraduate education, which comes in at 77 percent.” 

The findings are part of a comprehensive study, “American Views 2020: Trust, Media and Democracy,” which includes more than 20,000 interviews conducted between November 2019 and February 2020. Its results have a margin of error is 1 percentage point.

The new study comes on the heels of a poll by Gallup and Knight showing that 86 percent of Americans said they felt that there’s bias in the media, while 84 percent said they believed “the media is to blame for political division in this country.”

In 2019, Pew Research found that 50 percent of U.S. adults named made-up news as a very big problem, while only 40 percent named racism.

Gallup, meanwhile, found in 2019 that 41 percent of Americans trusted the media. The split was striking along party lines, with 69 percent of Democrats trusting the media but just 15 percent of Republicans feeling the same way.

In a 1976 Gallup poll, 72 percent of U.S. adults trusted the media.

Tags Gallup Knight foundation Media bias

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