Exhibit 2-2: What the People Want from the Press

In November 1996, the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) partnered with the Louis Harris Organization to poll 3,000 people about their attitudes toward the press. According to the poll, those who saw a liberal bias outnumbered those who perceived a conservative bias by two-to-one. The results of the poll were published in the May/June 1997 Media Monitor, the CMPA's newsletter, and later released as a 226-page report, What the People Want from the Press.


  • CMPA reported: 'Majorities of all major groups in the population, including 70 percent of self-described liberals, now see a 'fair amount' or 'great deal' of bias in the news. In general, perceptions of bias rise along with levels of education and political participation.'

  • 'Those who see a liberal tilt outnumber those who detect a conservative bias by more than a two to one margin. Forty-three percent describe the news media's perspective on politics as liberal, compared to 33 percent who see it as a middle of the road, and 19 percent who find it to be conservative.'

  • 'Even self-described liberals agree: 41 percent see the media as liberal, compared to only 22 percent who find the news to be conservative.'

  • 'These findings challenge the argument of some journalists that bias is purely in the eye of the beholder. Although conservatives are three times more likely to see liberal rather than conservative bias, moderates and liberals alike see liberal bias in the media twice as often as they see conservative bias,' CMPA concluded.

Previous: Exhibit 2-1: The People and The Press, 1997
Next: Exhibit 2-3: ASNE Journalism Credibility Project, 1998

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