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Sacred Heart Univ Survey of Media, Abridged

ON MEDIA TRUST, INFLUENCE AND RATINGS…

Respondents were asked if they believed all, most, some, little or none of news media reporting. Just 24.3% indicated they believe all or most news media reporting. While this is up from 19.6% in 2007, it remains lower than the 27.4% recorded in 2003.
 
Those named most frequently as the television news organization most trusted for accurate reporting in 2009 included: Fox News (30.0%), CNN (19.5%), NBC News (7.5%) and ABC News (7.5%). Fox News was also the television news organization trusted least. Just over one-quarter, 26.2%, named Fox News, followed by NBC News (9.9%), MSNBC (9.4%), CNN (8.5%), CBS News (5.3%) and ABC News (3.7%).
 
 
Over half of all respondents, 56.1%, suggested they trust the electronic and print news media for accurate news and information over blogs (7.8%), the social media such as Facebook (3.4%) and entertainers/celebrities (4.3%). Others, 28.5%, were unsure whom they trusted most.
 
ON NEWS MEDIA VIEWING HABITS…
Researchers asked respondents which television news organization they turned to most frequently. The top five news organizations were Fox News (28.4% - up from 26.5% in 2007), CNN (14.9% - down from 16.0% in 2007), NBC News (10.6% - down from 11.8% in 2007), ABC News (9.3% - down from 11.0% in 2007), and "local news" (9.3% - down from 8.5% in 2007). Other organizations respondents turned to most frequently included CBS News (7.4%), MSNBC (4.3%), PBS News (1.3%), CNBC (0.6%) and CBN (0.1%).
 
ON THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE…
While strong majorities of survey respondents (73.4%) believed the news media (newspapers, radio, TV and the internet) should provide equal time and space for multiple sides of issues, a similar percentage (70.9%) said the same media should be free from government involvement and allow the market to determine programming demand.
 
ON MEDIA OWNERSHIP…
Nearly three-quarters, 71.0%, believed it is very (31.8%) or somewhat (39.3%) important that limits be placed on how many media outlets one company should own. Another 24.7% believe such limits are somewhat unimportant (8.4%) or not at all important (16.3%). Some, 4.4%, were unsure.
 
ON THE FUTURE…
Nearly two-fifths of all respondents, 38.1%, said they are reading newspapers less often than they did five years ago. And, nearly half, 45.0%, agreed that the internet is adequately covering for failing newspapers, while 35.6% disagreed.
 
More than three-quarters, 77.9%, disagreed with a statement suggesting tax dollars be used to prop up failing newspapers.
 
ON MEDIA BIAS…
Poll results found 83.6% saw national news media organizations as very or somewhat biased while just 14.1% viewed them as somewhat unbiased or not at all biased. Some, 2.4%, were unsure.
 
A large majority, 89.3%, suggested the national media played a very or somewhat strong role in helping to elect President Obama. Just 10.0% suggested the national media played little or no role. Further, 69.9% agreed the national news media are intent on promoting the Obama presidency while 26.5% disagreed. Some, 3.6% were unsure.
 
Over half of Americans surveyed, 56.4%, said they agreed that the news media are promoting President Obama’s healthcare reform without objective criticism. Another 39.3% disagreed and 4.3% were unsure. Further, a majority, 57.6% of those surveyed agreed that the news media appear to be coordinating efforts to diminish the record of former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin. One third, 34.6%, disagreed and 7.9% were unsure.
 
ON THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA…
A large majority, 85.3%, of those polled suggested they were very or somewhat aware of the term “mainstream media.” Respondents saw the members of the mainstream media as: NBC (37.6%), CBS (32.6%), ABC (29.5%), CNN (27.8%), Fox News (19.9%), and MSNBC (12.6%). Over half of those surveyed, 56.1%, suggested the “mainstream media” are mostly or somewhat liberal while 16.7% suggested somewhat or mostly conservative. Some, 19.7%, saw the “mainstream media” as neutral and 7.7% were unsure.

ON LT. BRADSHAW AND THE WARS…
The poll found that, by a six-to-one margin, Americans would prefer to have their national news media cover the life of 1st Lieutenant Brian Bradshaw who was killed fighting in Afghanistan than that of entertainer Michael Jackson following their deaths on June 25, 2009. Another 14.6% suggested they would have preferred an even balance of coverage and 8.0% were unsure.