Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pew study finds Democrats more interested in media being watchdog

The AP's David Bauder writes:
In the opening days of the Trump administration, Democrats are far more interested than Republicans in seeing the news media assume the traditional role of watchdogs to people in power, a survey released on Wednesday found.The Pew Research Center poll found that 89 per cent of Democrats judged media criticism worth it because it keeps political leaders from doing things they shouldn't, while only 42 per cent of Republicans felt that way. While supporters of a party out of power are generally more interested in seeing reporters dig for news than those in power, the gap hasn't been nearly this wide since Pew began looking at the question in 1985, said Amy Mitchell, Pew's director of journalism research.Just last year, 77 per cent of Republicans supported the media watchdog role, compared with 74 per cent of Democrats, Pew found.Meanwhile, 56 per cent of Republicans said media criticism keeps political leaders from doing their job, compared with 9 per cent of Democrats. That's another startling shift from a year earlier, where 20 per cent of Republicans and 22 per cent of Democrats felt that way, Pew said.With Democrats out of power, "they see the media as the last line of defence," said Tim Graham, director of media analysis at the conservative Media Research Center.

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