The public and the press
: Pew releases its latest survey on the public’s attitudes toward the press. Among the findings (all quotes):
: Seven-in-ten Americans see it as a good thing when news organizations take a “strong pro-American point of view.” However, when asked specifically if it is better for coverage of the war on terrorism to be neutral or pro-American, fully 64% favor neutral coverage. And these views are largely unrelated. Even most of those who see a pro-American point of view as a good thing favor neutral war coverage (62%).
: The growing audience for the Fox News Channel, nearly half of whom identify themselves as conservatives, has more consistently negative views of media, especially regarding its patriotism. Nearly two-thirds of Fox News viewers (65%) believe some news outlets are becoming too critical of America, compared with fewer than half of CNN and network news viewers (48%, 45% respectively).
: The survey finds a greater percentage of the public saying they most often turn to Fox News Channel for national and international news compared with 18 months ago. More than one-in-five Americans (22%) say they get most of their news from Fox News. This is up from the 16% recorded in January 2002 and only somewhat behind the 27% citing CNN in the current survey.
The Fox News audience is decidedly more Republican, and more politically conservative, than the audiences for network news and CNN, as well as the public as a whole. Four-in-ten Fox News viewers (41%) identify themselves as Republicans compared with 32% of network news viewers, 29% of the CNN audience, and 30% of Americans overall.
: More than six-in-ten (62%) say the news organizations they are familiar with have been fair to the president compared with 24% who say they have been unfair.
: …younger people are much more positive about hosts of news shows expressing strong political opinions than are older Americans. Nearly six-in-ten of those under age 30 (58%) see this as a good thing. Just a third of people age 65 and older view this as a positive trend.
: …there is no evidence that awareness of the Times’ difficulties has had any impact on the public’s already cynical views about media accuracy and responsiveness.
Much more here.