Poll Shows Majority of Americans Believe Reporters Try to Help Their Candidates Win

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on June 11, 2008

Jump to...

Print

Directions

Read the excerpt below (from Noel Sheppard's report posted at Newsbusters.org). Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

The results of a new poll [show that]… 68 percent of Americans “believe most reporters try to help the candidate that they want to win.”

…a majority of respondents also felt Barack Obama has gotten the best press coverage so far during the campaign.

Such are the findings of a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey

Just 17% of voters nationwide believe that most reporters try to offer unbiased coverage of election campaigns. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that four times as many-68%–believe most reporters try to help the candidate that they want to win.

The perception that reporters are advocates rather than observers is held by 82% of Republicans, 56% of Democrats, and 69% of voters not affiliated with either major party. The skepticism about reporters cuts across income, racial, gender, and age barriers.

As for who [the reporters support]:

Voters have little doubt as to who is benefitting from the media coverage this year-Barack Obama. Fifty-four percent (54%) say Obama has gotten the best coverage so far. Twenty-two percent (22%) say McCain has received the most favorable coverage while 14% say that Hillary got the best treatment.

And, respondents seem very concerned about how such bias will impact the upcoming elections:

Looking ahead to the fall campaign, 44% believe most reporters will try to help Obama while only 13% believe that most will try to help McCain. Twenty-four percent (24%) are optimistic enough to believe that most reporters will try to offer unbiased coverage.

Even Democrats tend to believe their candidate will receive better treatment-27% of those in Obama’s party believe most reporters will try to help him win while only 16% believe they will help McCain. A plurality of Democrats-34%–believe most reporters will be unbiased.

Among unaffiliated voters, 44% believe reporters will try to help Obama and 14% believe they will try to help McCain. Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans expect Obama to receive preferential treatment while only 8% believe reporters will try to help McCain.

Read the original post at newsbusters.org.

Questions

1.  Do you think that “most reporters try to help the candidate that they want to win?”
2.  Which candidate do you think has received the best media coverage – Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John McCain?
3.  In the general election between Democratic candidate Barack Obama and Republican candidate John McCain, do you think that most reporters will try to offer unbiased coverage, or give better treatment to Obama over McCain, or McCain over Obama?
4.  Ask a parent the three questions above.  Discuss your answers.
 


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

The questions this week are all opinion questions. Answers will vary.