Accuracy in Media

Harvard University, which has a clear anti-Trump bias, published a long profile of Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and his plan to “fix” journalism and fake news, but the essay fails to mention the key driver for Americans’ distrust in the media: liberal bias.

The Yang profile, written by Josh Wood in the NiemanLab report, does touch on the issue of bias very briefly but seems instead to focus on the question of journalism funding and non-local focus as drivers behind the problems of fake news and low media trust. Yet as we reported last year from Monmouth University, “More than 3-in-4 respondents, or 77 percent, believe that traditional media outlets report fake news, according to a Monmouth University poll released Monday. The number is up sharply from last year when 63 percent of respondents believed the media was responsible for fake news reports. Among that group, 31 percent said they believed the media spreads fake news regularly while 46 percent said they do so occasionally.”

Among the poll’s respondents, “Most Americans (65 percent) say that fake news applies to how the media make editorial decisions and what they choose to report with just 25 percent saying that it applies only to the spread of inaccurate information.”

So when Harvard University quotes Yang’s plan to save journalism by having it be locally-sourced and government-funded as a means of fighting fake news, he is ignoring the elephant in the room: if the journalist themselves are leftist in their worldview, no amount of those types of remedies will solve the problem of distrust.

Unless Harvard, Yang and other progressives admit that they have an anti-conservative bias, they will never address that “findings from Pew Research Center that 73 percent of Republicans believe that the mainstream media does not understand their views. A recent study by the Knight Foundation found that 49 percent of high school students have little to no trust in the news…What explains this trust gap? Only 7 percent of journalists said they are Republicans, according to a survey by Indiana University. This is far lower than the 24 percent of American adults who identify as Republicans. Pew Research Center conducted a national survey of more than 500 reporters, editors, and executives in 2004. The results showed that 34 percent of the media identified as liberal, while only 7 percent identified as conservative.”

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