A Major Study Just Ranked Media Bias Around The World


A new study found that Americans on both sides of the political spectrum believe the media does not cover political issues fairly.

The Pew Research Center study found that people’s attitudes around the world about media depends largely on their political identification.

Seventy-five percent of people across the 38 countries surveyed “say it is never acceptable for a news organization to favor one political party over others when reporting the news.”

Twenty percent says that bias is sometimes okay. European countries are the most opposed to political bias in the news.

In general, the study found that 47 percent of Americans think that the media covers political issues fairly, and 56 percent think the media covers the news accurately.

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“Large gaps in ratings of the media emerge between governing party supporters and non-supporters,” according to Pew. “On the question of whether their news media cover political issues fairly, for example, partisan differences appear in 20 of the 38 countries surveyed. In five countries, the gap is at least 20 percentage points, with the largest by far in the U.S. at 34 percentage points.”

The survey found that 21 percent of President Donald Trump supporters and Republicans believe the media is fair in its coverage. Only 55 percent of those who don’t support the president believe the media covers politics fairly.

“The U.S. is also one of only a few countries where governing party supporters are less satisfied with their news media than are 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 do not support the governing party,” said the study.

This partisan gap, according to Pew, indicates that public satisfaction is closely linked to one’s support of the party in power, and also one’s trust in the national government.

A different study released in December by the Media Research Center revealed that more than 90 percent of statements about Trump made on the ABC, NBC and CBS evening broadcasts by reporters and nonpartisan sources in the last three months were negative.

The media’s hostile approach to covering the Trump administration has been documented by the media watchdog group, whose goal, according to its website, is “to expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media.”

“As the Media Research Center has been documenting all year, the media have approached the Trump presidency with unrelenting hostility,” MRC director of research Rich Noyes wrote in his analysis of the study.

The study shows that in September, there were only 31 pro-Trump statements and 359 negative statements on the ABC, NBC and CBS broadcasts. In October, there were 41 positive statements on the “Big Three” evening newscasts, but the number of negative statements grew to 435.

There seemed to be a decrease in statements overall about Trump in November, with the MRC citing the coverage of the allegations against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore as a possible explanation. Out of the 353 statements about Trump in November, 33 were positive and 320 were negative.

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According to an MRC study from earlier this year, as of August 31, there had been nearly 74 hours of coverage of the Trump administration during the “Big Three” evening newscasts. In comparison, in all of 2015 and 2016, the Obama administration only received 59 hours of coverage.

The analysis of this heavy coverage showed that the goal “is not to promote the President, but to punish him.”

“Even as the media whine about Trump, their hostile coverage shows no let up,” Noyes wrote in his analysis if the MRC’s most recent study.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith