Poll: Almost Half of America Thinks Media Coverage on Trump is 'Too Critical'


A new survey published this week by Axios suggests public sentiment has shifted very little in the past year regarding the perceived fairness of media outlets covering the Trump administration.

The poll, which was conducted last week in coordination with Survey Monkey, indicates a clear plurality of the 2,807 respondents believe news coverage is unnecessarily critical.

About 45 percent of those polled said they believe media coverage has been too critical of the administration. That total is nearly twice the 24 percent who said it is not critical enough.

Another 27 percent told pollsters they believe media coverage is generally fair.

Overall, the numbers across the partisan spectrum remained largely unchanged.

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Among Republicans who share the view that media is too critical, the percentage remained steady at 87 percent in the most recent poll as compared to responses to the same question when it was asked in a February 2017 survey.

Has media coverage of President Trump been too critical?
Democrats were slightly less likely this month to say media treatment of Trump was either fair or not critical enough. In 2017, 88 percent expressed one of the two responses, while 86 percent did in the most recent poll.

Independents, however, showed a tendency to move the other direction. Last week, 31 percent said Trump coverage was not critical enough, compared to 25 percent who had that opinion in the February 2017 poll.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted about a month after Trump’s inauguration found similar results around the same time last year.

A Harvard CAPS-Harris poll conducted about two months ago, however, found different results.

While the partisan divide remained prominent in those results, too, 54 percent of respondents overall said they believe the mainstream media is fair to the president.

Conversely, nearly 6 in 10 accused Trump of treating the media unfairly.

The recent Axios/Survey Monkey poll also asked respondents which sources they trusted most as compared to statements by the president.

These results have also remained largely stagnant since the questions were asked in a similar poll in June.

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The three major television networks emerged as the most trustworthy. Respondents were more likely to trust ABC, CBS or NBC over Trump by a margin of 52 to 41. The New York Times and Washington Post earned similar marks.

CNN fared somewhat less trustworthy with 49 percent saying they trust the cable network, though it still represents a six-point advantage over Trump in a head-to-head comparison.

Respondents in general were more sympathetic to Trump on one issue, however. According to the poll’s results, a slim majority of Americans now believe the media is spending too much time covering stories about Trump’s associations with Russia.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment