Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pew reminder: Americans don't like what their news organizations are becoming

The Pew Research Center recently released a "Fact Tank" of 20 research highlights - a couple of which suggest that Americans are losing faith in their news organizations - or at least are becoming less valued among U.S. adults.

About two-thirds (65%) say news organizations focus on unimportant things.  Even higher numbers say that news media are often inaccurate and try to cover up their mistakes.  Three-quarters say news media are often influenced by powerful people and organizations and tend to favor one side.   More than half say news organizations are politically biased (58%) and that they don't care about the people they report on (59%).

In addition, 38% say journalists are less important because there are other sources for news and information, and only 29% say journalists contribute "a lot" to society.

Nearly one-third (31%) of people say they no longer use a particular news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they want and have grown accustomed to getting.  Those who report no longer using what had been a regular news source overwhelmingly (66.2%) indicate that the stories being less complete and valuable as a reason for their change.  Even among those who haven't yet stopped using a news organization, more than half (53%) say that news stories are less complete and valuable.

Results like these should serve as a wake-up call to U.S. news organizations that they're not doing the job that news consumers want and expect.  However, most of the major news organizations in America today seem to be pursuing goals other than journalism, so I won't be surprised to see these numbers grow, and reliance on traditional news outlets to decline.

Source -  20 facts from Pew Research Center,  Pew Research Center Report
Amid Criticism, Support for Media's 'Watchdog' Role Stands Out,  Pew Research Center for the People & the Press research report.
Americans Show Signs of Leaving a News Outlet, Citing Less Information,  Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism report.

(edited to remove unneeded white space)

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