Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The public doesn’t trust campaign coverage

with one comment

Smart of them, don’t you think? Here is the finding:

Nearly two-thirds of Americans do not trust press coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign, according to a new Harvard University survey, which also revealed four out of five people believe coverage focuses too much on the trivial — and more than 60% believe coverage is politically biased.

The findings were among those in Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership National Leadership Index. The survey, which included interviews with 1,207 adults nationwide in September, focuses mostly on leadership issues. But a portion of the findings asked about views on the media in relation to leadership, with some troubling results.

“Our survey finds a pervasive lack of confidence in the leadership of many sectors of society,” the report states. “But Americans give their lowest marks to leaders in the press. Americans are particularly dissatisfied with press coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign.”

When asked if election coverage was politically biased, 40% believed it was too liberal; 21% too conservative; and 30% found it neutral. Nine percent of those responding were not sure.

Key among the findings:

• 64% of those polled do not trust press coverage of the presidential campaign.

• 88% believe that campaign coverage focuses on trivial issues.

• 84% believe that media coverage has too much influence on American voting choices.

• 92% say it is important that the news media provide information on candidates’ specific policy plans, but 61% say the media does not provide enough coverage of policy plans.

• 89% say it is important to hear about candidates’ personal values and ethics, but 43% say there is not enough coverage of personal values and ethics.

Instead, those surveyed claimed they were getting “exactly the type of campaign coverage that they want the least,” the report found.

Seventy percent of those polled said coverage of negative ads was not important and 65% said the media provided too much coverage of them; 67% say that coverage of “gotcha” moments — candidates’ embarrassing incidents and mistakes — was not important and 68% say there was too much coverage of those moments.

“The survey also indicates that Americans believe the media focuses too much on the polls and candidates’ personal lives,” the report said.

Most of the survey, however, dealt with basic views on leadership, finding that more than three quarters of those polled now believe there is a leadership crisis in this country, up 8% from 2006 and 12% from 2005.

Other findings revealed 79% of those surveyed were confident the next president would be “good for the country,” while 76% were confident that the next president would be a good leader.

The full report, released Wednesday, is available here (PDF). 

Written by Leisureguy

1 December 2007 at 9:29 pm

Posted in Election, Media

One Response

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  1. Wow, These are encouraging findings!



    1 December 2007 at 10:34 pm

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