Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Press Accuracy Hits New Low

On my drive home yesterday I tuned in, as I often do, to Sean Hannity's radio show.  The man was gloating.  Why?  The Pew Center report released this week says the public perception of news media accuracy has hit an all-time low (a graphic from the report to the right).

Hannity went off on one of his screeds, talking about "the media" while never pointing out that he's more or less a media machine himself between his Fox News Channel and radio show and books and concerts to save America from its duly elected president. 

But enough about Hannity.  Back to the report.

There's a lot here to read with anguish -- if you like democracy, that is.  But read the results a certain way and you see the growing partisan nature of the news audience.  The perception of inaccuracy or bias is driven largely by those who feel mostly strongly from the left or right, by Dems or GOPers.  That's heartening, in a way, but even among independents there is a steady decline in the perception of the press. 


Journalism, like science, has taken a beating by conservatives who have never realized that a lack of a conservative bias does not necessarily mean a liberal bias.  This pounding has taken its toll.  And anyone who thinks this is good for democracy isn't paying a helluva lot of attention to what makes a democracy work. 

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