Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The State of Today’s News Stories

Posted by Leah Rice

Jack Loechner of the Center for Media Research recently wrote an interesting brief titled, Just The Facts, But Get 'em Right, featuring Pew Research Center surveys on the accuracy of news stories and the media. According to the surveys, the public's assessment of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades.

Loechner and the surveys reported that just 29% of Americans say that news organizations get the facts straight, while 63% say that news stories are often inaccurate. Back in 1985 this survey data was collected and 55% of those surveyed said news stories were accurate while 34% said they were inaccurate.

As usual, the poll that Loechner reported on found that television remains the dominant news source for the public, with 71% of those surveyed say they get most of their national and international news from television. More than four out of ten say they get most of their news on these subjects from the internet, compared with 33% who cite newspapers.

Surprisingly, four out of ten people get their local news fix from newspapers despite declines in newspaper readership during the last few years – which is more than twice the number that go to the internet for local news.

After working in the PR field for close to four years, I have my own opinions about the accuracy of reporting and the media – both good and bad. But outside of that, I find it so interesting to see how the everyday person, who uses these outlets as their main source for daily information, views these media outlet and their credibility. To read Loechner’s full recap on the state of today’s media and news stories, click here.

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