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New York Times, Washington Post, and Local Newspapers Seen as Having Liberal Bias

A Rasmussen Reports survey on perceptions of media bias found that Americans tend to believe that the New York Times, Washington Post, and their local newspaper all show a bias in favor of liberals. A plurality believes that the Wall Street Journal delivers the news without bias.

An earlier survey found that Americans also tend to believe that the major broadcast networks, CNN, and NPR all have a liberal bias. Fox News is seen as tilting the other way. Perceptions of media bias have been thrust back into the news ever because some legislators have expressed renewed interest in the “Fairness Doctrine.” Americans are evenly divided as to whether or not broadcast outlets should be required to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary. Thirty-four percent (34%) believe that doctrine should be applied to web sites as well.

Among the print publications in the survey, the New York Times is perceived as being furthest to the left. Forty percent (40%) of Americans believe the Times has a bias in favor of liberals. Just 11% believe it has a conservative bias while 20% believe it reports news without bias.

Thirty-five percent (35%) of Americans see a liberal bias in their local newspaper while 21% see a conservative bias. For the Washington Post, 30% see a liberal bias and 16% see a conservative bias.

Twenty-nine percent (29%) see the Wall Street Journal as unbiased. Among those who see the Journal as biased, opinion is fairly evenly divided as to who that publication favors—22% say the Journal has a conservative bias while 18% see a liberal bias.

One of the more startling details concerns the perceptions of liberals towards the New York Times. Liberals tend to see all broadcast outlets and most print publications as having a bias in favor of conservatives. A plurality of liberals (40%) believes the Times delivers news without bias. However, 25% of liberals see a liberal bias at the New York Times while only 17% see a conservative bias. This makes the New York Times the only media outlet that liberals are more likely to see as having a liberal bias than a conservative bias.

Political conservatives tend to see all the print outlets as having a liberal bias. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of conservatives see a liberal bias in their local newspaper, 59% see a liberal bias at the New York Times, and 51% say the same about the Washington Post. Thirty percent (30%) of conservatives also see a liberal bias at the Wall Street Journal, though a plurality of conservatives (32%) sees the Journal as unbiased.

Perceptions of additional media outlets will be released later in the week. Favorability ratings for selected journalists and broadcast personalities are available now.

For the latest updates on the attitudes of Americans, visit the Rasmussen Reports home page.

Crosstabs are available for Premium Members only.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.

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Survey of 967 Adults
July 13-14,2007

When the New York Times reports the news, they show a bias that favors...







Not Sure


When the Washington Post reports the news, they show a bias that favors...







Not Sure



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