The Pew Research Center is a highly-respected, independent information gathering organization that gauges a wide host of issues of importance. Pew is by most accounts among the best informed research vehicles in the nation. In other words, when Pew takes an election poll- for example - you'd better pay attention because more often than not, they get it right.
Thus, I was interested recently to learn that the folks at Pew had researched the political leanings of people within the media and just as many had expected, the results clearly show the liberal-leaning of the national media.
In their research, Pew found that 34 percent of national news organization personnel labeled themselves as liberal. Just a scant 7 percent said they were conservative. The liberal numbers drop when you talk about regional media. And in a stark comparison to the true color of the nation, one-third of the general population in this country calls themselves conservative. So it's no wonder that many of us see a clear pattern of liberal bias in the national news outlets.
As interesting as the survey results is the way the research story was handled. The national networks ignored the story and the national magazines and newspapers gave it minimal coverage buried deep in the inside pages. But then again, that in itself is a fairly obvious reaction to news they don't want most people to read or hear.
The survey isn't just about political candidates or parties and how they are handled in the national media. The research survey goes far beyond just that.
For example, while 60 percent of Americans believe it is necessary to believe in God to be a truly moral person, only 15 percent of the national media reporters believe that way. In short, the list goes on and on.
Is there bias in the national media? Yes, clearly. Is that bias tilted toward the liberal side of the agenda? Again a resounding yes. Will that change anytime soon? I doubt it.
All of this information is important only if you remember it when you hear or read a national news report that is critical or supportive of an issue. Just remember the perspective that is behind the reporter who is bringing that message to you.