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Journalism is Deteriorating, and Americans Notice

July 14, 2013

By Maggie O’Neill

imageJournalism has undoubtedly shaped U.S. history. Such works as Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle have informed and influenced American thought in a way that is essential to democracy.

There has, however, been an increasing trend towards sensationalism in the media over the past century. Today, responsible, informative, and fair journalism is far less common than petty, commercial and partisan media, and the American people notice.

A new Pew Research Center poll reveals that only 28% of Americans believe that today’s journalists contribute “a lot” to society. Moreover, a nearly equal amount believe that today’s journalists have absolutely no positive effect on society. Journalists’ public perception was significantly more favorable only four years ago when the same poll was administered.

These figures are unsettling, but frankly unsurprising.

Today’s media overwhelmingly reports while skewed by an agenda — in pursuit of money and partisan gain. People read or listen to or watch journalists with the expectation of bias. Each of the mainstream cable news programs is guilty of falsely claiming objectivity. Viewers, however, largely understand this, and they select their news outlets accordingly. A Gallup poll reveals that 60% of Americans do not trust the media to report fully, accurately or fairly. Take a look at this chart that illustrates the vastly partisan divide between Fox News and CNN viewers. Read the rest of the story at Policymic.


From → Analysis, Commentary

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