Bias in Media Reporting

Jun 18, 2012

Q. Overall, do you think media reporting is biased in favour or against the following groups?

 

Biased in favour

Biased against

Not biased

Don’t know

Net score

Business groups

27%

14%

29%

30%

+13

The Liberal Party

26%

22%

26%

26%

+4

Large corporations

26%

25%

23%

27%

+1

Environment groups

22%

25%

26%

27%

-3

The Greens

19%

27%

27%

27%

-8

Religious groups

14%

24%

32%

30%

-10

The Labor Party

18%

31%

26%

25%

-13

Unions

18%

32%

23%

26%

-14

Net score = bias in favour minus bias against.

Overall, respondents think that media reporting is biased in favour of business groups and biased against unions, the Labor Party and religious groups. They were evenly divided over whether media reporting is biased for or against the Liberal Party, large corporations, and environment groups.

Among Labor voters, 50% think the media are biased against the Labor Party and 43% think they are biased in favour of the Liberal Party.

Among Coalition voters, 34% think the media are biased against the Liberal Party and 29% think they are biased in favour of the Labor Party.

57% of Greens voters think the media are biased against the Greens.

Perceptions of Media

May 2, 2011

Q. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Total agree Total disagree Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
The media usually reports the news accurately 35% 54% 2% 33% 41% 13% 12%
The media usually reports all sides of a story 21% 69% 1% 20% 46% 23% 10%
The media is too critical of government and politicians in Australia 29% 57% 4% 25% 46% 11% 14%
These days I rely more on the internet than newspapers and TV for my news and information about politics. 44% 46% 12% 32% 37% 9% 10%
I trust the media more than I trust politicians 37% 43% 4% 33% 33% 10% 20%
I trust politicians more than I trust the media 16% 65% 1% 15% 44% 21% 18%
The media does a good job of scrutinizing politics and holding politicians accountable 45% 43% 3% 42% 31% 12% 12%
Overall, the media are politically biased in favour of the Liberal Party 19% 55% 4% 15% 44% 11% 26%
Overall, the media are politically biased in favour of the Labor Party 23% 50% 5% 18% 41% 9% 25%
The media are too focused on personalities and not enough on policies 70% 18% 21% 49% 15% 3% 12%
There is too much coverage of politics in the media 34% 52% 7% 27% 45% 7% 14%
The media does a good job of helping people to understand political and social issues 40% 48% 2% 38% 36% 12% 12%
I follow the news closely every day 57% 38% 10% 47% 32% 6% 6%

The majority of respondents disagree that the media usually reports all sides of a story (69%) and that the media reports the news accurately (54%).

However, they tend to trust the media a little more than they trust politicians – 37% agree they trust the media more and 16% agree they trust politicians more.

The results also indicate that respondents want more rather than less coverage of politics – only 34% agree that there is too much coverage of politics and 57% disagree that the media is too critical of government and politicians.

Respondents were divided over whether the media does a good job of scrutinizing politics and holding politicians accountable (45% agree/43% disagree) and tended to disagree that the media does a good job of helping people to understand political and social issues (40% agree/48% disagree).

70% agree that the media are too focused on personalities and not enough on policies.

A minority of respondents think the media are biased – 23% think they are biased in favour of the Labor Party and 19% in favour of the Liberal Party.

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