As attributed in the United States Constitution, freedom of the press is essential to democracy. In the U.S., the framework of a free press has amassed contrasting consensus between political ideologies, especially during our current presidential administration.
In a recent survey, initiated by a South Carolina-based research and insights firm, it was found that the majority of participants perceived the media as essential to democracy, with 85% in accordance with such beliefs, the findings proclaimed.
A total of 1,037 adult participants in the U.S. from the Republican and Democratic party were surveyed between January 13 and 15th, 2020, according to the findings.
“The media have been a large focus of attention during the past few years,” the study’s authors stated.
“Over four in five Americans (85%) say the media are important to American Democracy with over half (52%) saying they are very important. And, while there are some partisan differences, three-quarters of Republicans (76%), almost all Democrats (95%) and nine in ten Independents (89%) say the media are important.”
While the majority of participants in the online survey indicated the media to be a significant extension to democracy, most also viewed the media as biased toward the current presidential administration, the study’s authors declared.
Moreover, the participants gave their input on the reporting of political topics by prominent news outlets, such as Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. Fox News was rated slightly higher on factuality and lack of bias, compared to CNN and MSNBC, however, in the online survey all news outlets were viewed by a considerable amount of participants as biased in some way, according to the study’s authors.
“Looking at the three main cable news stations, one-quarter of Americans each say that Fox News (26%) and CNN (24%) do the best job delivering straight news with no bias while one in ten (11%) say this about MSNBC. One-quarter (26%), however, say none of them do and they are all biased while over one in ten (14%) are not at all sure.”
“As you might expect, it’s a little different for Democrats as over one-third (36%) say CNN does the best job, less than one in five say MSNBC (18%) and Fox News (16%) do the best job and one in five (19%) they are all biased.”