64% of Americans Don’t Trust Presidential Campaign Coverage

NewsBusters.org - Media Research Center

Here's something America's media should be proud of: 64 percent of people surveyed do not trust press coverage of the presidential campaign.

Want to know the really inconvenient truth?

The study, done by Harvard University's Center for Public Leadership, was performed in September before the recent CNN Democrat presidential debate debacle in Las Vegas.

Just imagine what those numbers would look like now.

The following highlights of the survey were reported by Editor & Publisher Wednesday (emphasis added throughout, h/t NB reader CloseAll):

  • 64% of those polled do not trust press coverage of the presidential campaign.
  • 88% believe that campaign coverage focuses on trivial issues.
  • 84% believe that media coverage has too much influence on American voting choices.
  • 92% say it is important that the news media provide information on candidates' specific policy plans, but 61% say the media does not provide enough coverage of policy plans.
  • 89% say it is important to hear about candidates' personal values and ethics, but 43% say there is not enough coverage of personal values and ethics.

Nice report card, wouldn't you agree?

Yet, one of the most interesting findings of this survey was conspicuously absent from E&P's report: On a scale from one to four, with four meaning "Great Deal," and one meaning "Not At All," respondents gave the press a 2.26 for confidence in leadership.

This was the lowest reading for any sector named in the survey, with the highest being the military. The bottom four were Local Government, Congressional, Executive, and Press.

Amazingly, even Business was rated higher than these four sectors. No wonder E&P chose to ignore this inconvenient truth.

Deliciously, one thing this article did report confirmed what NewsBusters has been saying for months:

When asked if election coverage was politically biased, 40% believed it was too liberal; 21% too conservative; and 30% found it neutral. Nine percent of those responding were not sure.

Once again, today's journalists should be so proud of themselves!

Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Editor & Publisher
Noel Sheppard's picture

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