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.

Comments »

Rating the Media

Sep 20, 2010

Q. Overall, how would you rate the media (newspapers, TV, radio, internet) for their reporting of Federal politics  – thinking about their coverage both before and after the election?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens


Total good 32% 35% 37% 20%
Total poor 23% 23% 18% 37%
Very good 7% 8% 7% 2%
Good 25% 27% 30% 18%
Average 40% 37% 43% 37%
Poor 9% 7% 9% 13%
Very poor 14% 16% 9% 24%
Don’t know 6% 5% 2% 6%

32% think media reporting of Federal politics has been good, 23% poor and 40% average. Greens voters are most likely to think it has been poor (37%).

Q. Overall, do you think media reporting – both before and after the election – favoured the Labor Party, favoured the Liberal and National parties or gave fair coverage of all parties?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens


Favoured the Labor Party 23% 12% 39% 9%
Favoured the Liberal and National parties 17% 27% 8% 29%
Gave fair coverage of all parties 44% 49% 42% 43%
Don’t know 17% 11% 12% 18%

23% think media reporting favoured the Labor Party and 17% think it favoured the Liberal and National parties – while 44% think it gave fair coverage to all parties. 39% of Coalition voters thought the media favoured the Labor Party – compared to 27% of Labor voters thinking it favoured the Coalition. 

Comments »

COVID-19 RESEARCH

Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.

Download this week's Report

Sign up for updates

Receive the Essential Report in your inbox.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.