By John Jalsevac
March 19, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A recent study by the Pew Research Center has revealed that journalists are far more likely to define themselves as liberal than the general population, and far less likely to define themselves as conservative.
The massive study was conducted late last year, and surveyed the views of over 500 journalists.
"As was the case in 2004," reads the commentary on the study by the Pew Research Center, "majorities of the national and local journalists surveyed describe themselves as political moderates; 53% of national journalists and 58% of local journalists say they are moderates. About a third of national journalists (32%), and 23% of local journalists, describe themselves as liberals. Relatively small minorities of national and local journalists call themselves conservatives (8% national, 14% local)."
Commentary by the popular Newsbusters website suggested that the statistics do not even fully describe the imbalance in the media, pointing out, "It’s not much of a leap to presume many of the 53 percent who describe themselves as ‘moderate’ are really quite liberal."
The study also found that internet journalists in particular tend to be more liberal than other journalists. "Fewer than half (46%) call themselves moderates, while 39% are self described liberals and just 9% are conservatives."
The study compared these figures with the figures for the general population, saying: "Among the population as a whole, 36% call themselves conservatives - more than triple the percentage of national and internet journalists, and more than double the percentage of local journalists. About four-in-ten (39%) characterized their political views as moderate, while 19% are self-described liberals, based on surveys conducted in 2007 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press."
Amy Mitchell, deputy director of Pew Research Center, said that the findings are the same as they were when a similar study was conducted in 2004. The numbers also reflect the findings of other similar studies.
The disproportion in the beliefs of journalists has also reflected itself in public attitudes towards the press. "Among those who feel that their daily newspaper has become worse," says the study, "the number who blame bias, and particularly liberal bias, has grown from 19% in 1996 to 28% in 2006."
"Overall, Republicans express less confidence than Democrats in the credibility of nearly every major news outlet, with the exception of Fox News. Yet that partisan gap is narrowing, and that is because Democrats are beginning to doubt the believability of more news outlets, and their suspicion of bias is growing too."