Most left-leaning journalists say conservative media does not deserve equal coverage

"People don’t trust us," MSNBC's Katy Tur said, "they don’t believe us and it makes me wonder if this job, as I’m currently doing it, is effective, but if it’s doing more harm than good."

Christina Buttons Nashville TN

According to a new data analysis from a recent Pew Research Center study, researchers found that US journalists do not always value giving equal coverage to all sides of an issue. A large majority (69 percent) of left-leaning US journalists say that "every side does not always deserve equal coverage." By contrast, just 42 percent of journalists with a right-leaning audience say that equal coverage is not always deserved.

Age was also a factor in the study, with 63 percent of younger journalists aged 18 to 29, who disproportionately report to left-wing audiences, being most likely to admit biased coverage of the issues. Similarly, 60 percent of those aged 30-49 do not support equal coverage of alternative viewpoints. Journalists 50 and older, however, are evenly split between the two viewpoints.

Another discovery from this data is that while 55 percent of US journalists across the political spectrum say that every side does not always deserve equal coverage in the news, only 22 percent of US adults share that sentiment. Three-quarters (76 percent) of US adults say journalists should always strive to give all sides equal coverage. This highlights the stark difference of the values and interests between everyday Americans and the journalistic class reporting on them.

This may be a potential reason for the 84 percent of US adults who report having little or no trust in the information they get from news organizations being more likely than those who have a great deal of trust (66 percent) to say that journalists should always strive to give every side equal coverage.

MSNBC's Katy Tur acknowledges the public's distrust of the media in an interview on "A conversation with Katy Tur," where she discusses why she left journalism to write her memoir. "There was just a Gallup poll out today that shows that the trust in media, in newspapers and television, is hitting an all-time low."

"People don’t trust us," she added, "they don’t believe us and it makes me wonder if this job, as I’m currently doing it, is effective, but if it’s doing more harm than good. I don’t have a good answer for that. So those thoughts linger in the back of my mind."

Tur acknowledges how the mainstream media damaged its reputation during President Trump’s time in office. "Blowing everything up in a nuclear way made it seem like we were only out to get Donald Trump," she said. "And I think that hurt our credibility in the long run."

When asked about the tendency for audiences to seek affirmation of their existing opinions rather than explore alternative viewpoints, she said, "It’s very depressing and I think it’s a big problem."

She adds, "If you are always attacking one side relentlessly and that’s the only position you take, you lose your credibility on that. You lose your credibility, period, because you’re just seen as somebody who’s out to get the other side."


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