Media Bias Survey: Largely Hostile Coverage Of President Trump In First 30 Days

Media bias is not widely disputed among the American people with a Gallup survey from September 2016 showing an all-time high in distrust.

According to the findings, only 32 percent had either a high or fair amount of trust in the information they received from mainstream media outlets — the implication being that each outlet has a particular agenda, whether right or left.

This was a drop of eight percentage points from 2015, largely driven by Republicans, but not entirely.

Younger voters, who largely break for Democratic candidates, were also less trusting. With that as the backdrop, a new survey from the conservative think tank Media Research Center completed an analysis of coverage from President Donald Trump’s first 30 days in office and found 88 percent of coverage was “hostile.”

Fox News, as well as more overtly conservative news sites like Daily Wire and Washington Times, have reported on the findings so far.

Drilling further down, MRC found media bias to be “intense and plentiful,” with broadcasts from the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC, producing 16 hours of coverage on President Trump or his team, over half of their total news coverage for the 30-day period.

“In their coverage of Trump’s first month, the networks crowded their stories with quotes from citizens angry about many of his policies, while providing relatively little airtime to Trump supporters,” remarked Rich Noyes, MRC research director, and fellow analyst Mike Ciandella.

The pair also stated networks’ anchors and reporters “often injected their own anti-Trump editorial tone into the coverage.”

One example the media bias report cited came from CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley came from the Feb. 6 broadcast when Pelley said, “It has been a busy day for presidential statements divorced from reality.”

Going further into the weeds, approximately 56 minutes were dedicated to anti-Trump protests and one in five Trump stories or briefs discussed “some form of an anti-Trump protest,” the study notes.

As mentioned before, it is noteworthy these findings come from a conservative watchdog organization, but a November 2016 survey from the more mainstream Suffolk University/USA Today found poll respondents, by a large margin, believed media bias favored Hillary Clinton during the general campaign.

Mediaite reports that when asked, “Who do you think the media, including major newspapers and TV stations, would like to see elected president, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?,” 75 percent said Clinton while 7 percent said Trump.

Gallup attests that a bitterly divided election cycle diminished citizens’ trust and confidence in the media, “particularly among Republicans who may believe the ‘mainstream media’ are too hyperfocused on every controversial statement or policy proposal from Trump while devoting far less attention to controversies surrounding the Clinton campaign.”

That said, the site acknowledges feelings of media bias have been going on for over a decade, noting that since 2004, “only about a third of the U.S. has any trust [in the media]… a stunning development for an institution designed to inform the public.”

One thing the polling organization notes is that “new media” expanded rapidly with the arrival of blogs, vlogs, and social media, bringing with them lowered standards for journalism and a heavier reliance on “opinion-driven” coverage.

“On the other hand,” Gallup notes, “as blogs and social media ‘mature,’ they may improve in the American public’s eyes. This could, in turn, elevate Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media as a whole.”

Do you think media bias is a reality across the board, and, if so, which political viewpoint does it “favor”? Sound off in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by iofoto /Shutterstock]

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