A new survey of 585 journalists and news executives revealed that there are few who claim to be conservatives in the media today. The survey shows that the number of conservatives in the media is far below the average among the general American population. This fact certainly means that the media does not even come close to reflecting the ideological make up of the country.
Jennifer Harper of the Washington Times reported on the 18th that “only 6 percent of the national press corps describe themselves as ‘conservative.’” Yet, of the general American population, 36 percent “generally consider themselves conservative.”
This is a major discrepancy from an industry that so often criticizes government for not being “fair and balanced” and for not properly representing the country. For an industry that carps about preferences and quotas it is amazing that the industry itself is so ideologically monolithic.
The poll also reveals, though, that many in the news biz are worried about their future.
Indeed, 55 percent of the national press corps said business and financial woes were the most important problem in journalism today, up from 30 percent four years ago. Twenty-two percent cited the quality of coverage as the biggest problem, 20 percent cited the “media environment,” 9 percent cited flagging press credibility and 3 percent cited “ethics and standards.”
Unfortunately, it seems many aren’t seeing the forest for the trees if only 9 percent see flagging credibility and only 3 percent feel the industry’s falling ethics and standards is part of their problem.
The journalists surveyed had mixed feelings about the Internet’s impact on their profession.
More than three-fourths of the respondents said they welcomed user comments on news sites and more than two-thirds favor video sites such as YouTube and online “news aggregating sites” such as Google News. More than half favor citizen-based news sites and journalist blogs.
But the convergence of electronic and traditional media remains a work in progress: 42 percent said the Internet strengthens traditional news values; 41 percent said it weakens them.
Obviously journalists are very worried about the Internet, but at least many do see the potential upside.
Sadly, the final word here is that the paltry number of conservatives in the media have not changed much.
The findings have remained “basically flat” since 2004 when a similar survey was taken, said Amy Mitchell, deputy director of the media research group.
For all the media’s carping about everyone else being “balanced,” though, it is clear that the media itself has made no efforts at all to better reflect America. Some might say that is a bit hypocritical, but this ideological imbalance shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, the MSM imagines that they are above any such strictures. They imagine themselves on some higher plane somewhere, of course.