NEWS15 January 2018

Public desire for unbiased news

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US – The majority of people want news media to provide unbiased coverage of political issues, according to the Pew Research Centre’s survey of 38 countries.

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Three quarters ( 75%) across the 38 countries surveyed in its Global Attitudes Survey said it was never acceptable for a news organisation to favour one political party over others when reporting the news. Twenty per cent said it was sometimes acceptable.

European countries showed the greatest opposition to political bias – 89% opposed it in Spain and 88% in Greece; in the US it was 78%.

A median of 52% across the countries polled said news media in their country did a good job of reporting politics fairly – 44% said they did not.

The most critical were Spain, Greece, South Korea, Lebanon and Chile.

Within countries, political identification tends to be the strongest divider of media attitudes – more than education, age or gender.

Looking at supporters (of the current governing party) and non-supporters show that the US is one of only a few countries where governing party supporters are less satisfied with their news media than non-supporters.

In most countries, people who support the political party currently in power are more satisfied with the performance of their news media than those who don’t.