People overwhelmingly agree that all sides should be covered equally in news stories, but most journalists from liberal outfits don’t believe it is deserved, according to a new survey.
The latest Pew Research Center poll found that, among reporters who say their outlet’s audience leans left, 30% support “equal coverage for all sides,” and 69% said that “it is not always deserved.”
Among those who work for conservative outlets, 57% “think the profession should strive for equal coverage, while 42% of these journalists say equal coverage is not always deserved.”
Overall, on the issue of “bothsideism,” Pew said, “A little more than half of the journalists surveyed (55%) say that every side does not always deserve equal coverage in the news. By contrast, 22% of Americans overall say the same, whereas about three-quarters (76%) say journalists should always strive to give all sides equal coverage.”
Pew reasoned that the coronavirus and presidency of Donald Trump affected news coverage: “The issue of whether to try to provide equal coverage to all sides gained new intensity during Donald Trump’s presidency and the widespread disinformation and competing views surrounding the 2020 election and the COVID-19 pandemic. While some feel that equal coverage is always necessary to allow the public to be equally informed about multiple sides of an argument, those who disagree argue that people making false statements or unsupported conjectures do not warrant as much attention as those making factual statements with solid supporting evidence.”