Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What People Know (or don't know) about the First Amendment

It's a scary headline:

A third of Americans can't name
any First Amendment rights

Yeah. Scary. The survey, a pdf available here, has all the details and you can read it yourself. The graphic below, from Poynter, sums it up nicely:

A few survey details: 1,006 adults, 3.2 percent margin of error, supplemented by cell phone numbers to make it more generalizable. In other words, a good solid piece of work. The link in the first sentence leads to the Poynter article about the research, where I first saw it. Save yourself some time and just skim that if you're interested in public opinion and First Amendment stuff.  There's interesting trend data here, such as a bump up in those who think the First Amendment goes too far  It was higher in 2001-2002, but we seem to be headed in the same (dangerous) direction.

The percentage who think the media should act as a government watchdog remains largely unchanged, hovering at about 80 percent agreement. There's a ton of other stuff. Read further down about journalists and such. Good info, good data. Read it.

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