TV News Favorables Fall


Americans' favorable views of TV and other news outlets continue to slip, but the media is still doing a better job winning over the public than President Bush the Supreme Court, Congress or other public institutions, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

A growing number of Americans are questioning the patriotism and fairness of the news media, Pew found. Despite those criticisms, however, the center found most Americans continue to like mainstream news outlets.

By wide margins, more Americans give favorable than unfavorable ratings to their daily newspaper (80%-20%), local TV news (79%-21%), and cable TV news networks (79%-21%), among those able to rate these organizations. The margin is only slightly smaller for network TV news (75%-25%).

The favorable ratings surpass those for other public institutions. For instance, an earlier Pew poll found that the High Court's approval margin was 66%-34%; the President's approval margin was 55%-45%.

The latest Pew Poll shows attitudes toward the news media are increasingly politicized.

Republicans, traditionally more critical of the press than are Democrats, have become even more so and see the press as "too critical of America and hurting democracy." Even still, a majority of Republicans voice favorable views of most major news sources.