Which media outlets do you visit to get news on current events and politics? Do you avoid any that you believe convey misinformation or disinformation? Your perception of media outlets being misleading may come down to your own political beliefs.
According to a recent University of Chicago Institute of Politics survey of 1,000 registered voters in the U.S. from May 2022, a partisan divide emerges among Republicans and Democrats on the perception of which outlets “make a good faith effort to report the news” rather than “intentionally trying to mislead.”
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Unsurprisingly, Democrats had a more favorable perception than Republicans towards outlets AllSides rates as on the left, like CNN (Left bias), MSNBC (Left bias), and the national newspapers raised in the survey; Republicans were more favorable towards Fox News (Right bias), and news outlets like Newsmax (Right bias) and One America News Network (Right bias).
In some cases, the gap between Republicans and Democrats is very large – as much as 54 percentage points in the case of CNN.
Among all respondents, social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok – were most likely to be perceived as intentionally misleading.
With more people distrusting the fairness of news media than ever before, according to a recent poll conducted by Gallup (Center), it may be no surprise to some that the American public has become increasingly skeptical of news media.
The survey also found that about half of American registered voters (48%) believe that reporters, editors, and newscasters are trying to get their own viewpoints across in reporting.
There was a visible partisan divide, however: more than double the amount of Republicans believe that journalists are trying to get their viewpoints across (67%) than Democrats (30%).
The University of Chicago Institute of Politics survey also found that about half (49%) of respondents claim they have friends or relatives who they believe have changed their views because of the media they consume.
This reality is why AllSides is committed to releasing people from one-sided filter bubbles. Our belief is that if people only consume media content that aligns with their political beliefs, they may miss out on important perspectives and information.
To read University of Chicago Institute of Politics survey methodology, click here.
Andrew Weinzierl is AllSides’ Research Manager and Data Journalist. He has a Lean Left bias.
This piece was reviewed by Antonio Ferme, Weekend Editor (Center bias), Joseph Ratliff, Daily News Editor (Lean Left bias), Henry A. Brechter, Managing Editor (Center bias) and Julie Mastrine, Director of Media Bias Ratings (Lean Right).