A ten-country survey of attitudes towards the media was released Wednesday as part of the We Media Global Forum in London. The survey was conducted by Globescan for Reuters, the Media Center, and the BBC. A total of 10,230 adults were questioned in the UK, USA, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, and South Korea, in March and April.
Americans gave their own media the worst score in the world on the question concerning "Reports all sides of story." A whopping 69% of Americans disagreed that the media reports all sides. Only the UK (at 64%) comes close to harboring this sentiment.
Commenters took a closer look at the data and what it means:
Americans will usually distrust their media as it will every other power elite. The Watergate era was the exception not the rule. Likewise it is no surprise the Brits are in second. It is exactly because we have such an unrestrained press that we realize how much does not get through its filters. The rest of the world lives in bliss thanks to ignorance. What is startling today is the high regard in which the military is held.
-by Mrs Davis
While it is great there are blogs, and FOX and other alternatives to liberal bias, these outlets are only there for those who have access to the internet or cable/satellite.
Unfotunately, the network media still has a monpoly over those who are too poor to afford these outlets and are stuck with what they can get on the rabbit ears.
The one exception is am radio, but i think tv still has a major hold as pictures speak a thousand words.
Interesting but probably meaningless
That is, I don't think the numbers mean much, and can't be used for valid country-by-country comparisons.
The reason is that while the blogosphere has been very influential in exposing press bias and dishonesty in the US (think Rathergate), the same probably isn't true outside of the US, at least not yet.
The way I see it, there is a certain symbiosis between the blogosphere and the alternative-to-the-mainstream media (Fox, WSJ, Drudge), and that symbiosis matters; the MSM would have ignored Monica but for Drudge, and if it weren't for Fox and WSJ, orders of magnitude fewer people would have been aware of Rathergate.As far as I know, this is largely unique to the US.
The survey said, in effect, that 69% of Americans recognize that their media was biased. In other words, fewer people in other countries recognize the bias in their own media.
This is one of the best indicators of American shrewdness to be published recently.The next step is to think of ways to help other nationalities perceive the bias in their own version of the mainstream media.
The news I encounter here in Finland is incredibly one-sided. Lots of knee-jerk anti-american sentiment right out of Michael Moore, and I really don't blame the Finns, as they don't really have a lot to compare it to as the largest news provider is the state run YLE.
They also put up with ridiculously high taxes and low wages without complaining much, because, well, they simply don't know any other system.
(They rarely believe me when I tell them about the higher wages paid back in USA...doing identical work. Back in Alaska, my monthly earnings are approximately 100% higher pretax to 150% higher posttax, for those who are curious. We do really have it pretty good in the USA!)My Finnish girlfriend was the same way at first, anti-Bush, but couldn't say why. It wasn't so much a strongly held opinion, it was simply that there WAS no other opinion. She just never had been presented with any information which might cast Bush in a more favorable light. After a few casual conversations I introduced her to Fox News. I reckon she is still a liberal by Alaska standards..but as she is exposed to alternative viewpoints, she is becoming downright 'Redstate' for a Finn.
I can't speak to Finland but it seems to me that most Europeans are not necesarily less aware of bias. My experience is that the media in Europe is more open about their biases so readers know that one newpaper is biases to the left and another to the right a third more centrist, etc. They do not attempt to conceal their biases behind some facade of "journalistic neutrality."
I have long been a believer that there is no such thing as an unbiased media, some bias is worse than others, and a lot of bias is probably unintentional (just simply in the words one uses to describe/label something), and some of it I think is down right intentional (sort of hard to explain the Rathergate episode in any light other than intentional bias).
But the idea of the unbiased media is a myth.I do agree with another post upthread that the blogsphere in the US at least has done an excellent job of fact checking for the media, and this check on the media has exposed just how bad the bias is/can be.
I would be interested in seeing in what way people view the media as biased. Do they view the media as biased to the left? In the past, I remember viewing poll results that showed that, while a plurality of Americans thought the media was "too liberal," a majority viewed them as "too conservative" or "just about right." It is quite possible that many of the respondents to this survey view the media as biased because they think the media are shills for the Bush administration. I think that a poll like this doesn't necessarily provide good news on the savvyness of the average American unless more is known about why they distrust the media.
-by Joe Cor
I think I get what you are saying: if the poll merely asks "do you think it is biased or deceitful" it doesnt really give the full picture. It may just say that more in the US are skeptical. I am always dumbfounded when I hear a liberal call the NY Times conservative (and I have), but they might answer the same way as me on this survey. I would suspect there are many at Kos that dont think the media is liberal enough.
The poll numbers are skewed by who they poll (weighted heavily Democratic), when they poll (weekends when more DU people are in their parents basements) and how they word the questions.
As to the subject for the MSM they are totally clueless.
They and their Hollywood buddies live in a vacuum. They associate with members of their ilk in their gated communities of the mind on the upper west side of Manhattan and Hollywood. They have no contact with the "average American". Quite frankly they simply can NOT understand why their propaganda campaigns have not worked. If they had worked as they intended Kerry would be president. Right now they think they can flog the dead horses to bring a Democrat majority in the mid term. Got news for them, it ain't gonna work.
You see, they do not realise that their "world" where it is always sunny and 1972 died on a bright September day in 2001. They, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, think that if they keep flogging their dead horses that eventually their "world" will come back. They live in denial, as evidenced by their visceral reaction to the move "United 93" where the wailing of "too soon" resonates in the movie houses of the upper west side. It is "too soon" for them for they live in denial, they simply can not grasp the fact that people want to kill them because they exist and are not Islamic. They can not grasp that the world has fundamentally changed.
They also have never grasped the fact that the average American has a little thing called common sense and are also not afraid to see things the way they truly are and do what needs to be done. THAT more then anything is the reason why they hate Bush so much-he is willing to do what needs to be done to keep the country safe, unlike the Pollyanaish Democrats who think that singing Kumbayah and apologizing for breathing do.Right now you are seeing a sea change in the way information is delivered. Look to the 1920's and 1930's to see how the public changed it's method of getting news from papers (who were so biased they had "Democrat" or "Republican" in their titles)to getting it from radio. The clueless in the MSM think that hole in front of them is for a Koi pond, they do not grasp that it is their grave. The grave has about 5 feet of the 6 dug out of it, soon it will be ready for them to fall in. You can already see the MSM dying, just take a look at the layoffs at major papers, loss of viewers and readers. A good indicator of televison news dying was when Tom Brokaw retired. He had more viewers when he took over the NBC Nightly News when it was #3 then he did when he retired and it was #1.