Multi-section ReportsMarch 21, 1997

Few Favor Media Scrutiny of Political Leaders

Introduction and Summary The American public is more critical of press practices, less enthusiastic about the news product and less appreciative of the watchdog role played by the news media than it was a dozen years ago when The People & The Press surveys were inaugurated. Those polls concluded that criticism of the way the […]

PublicationsMay 22, 1995

News Media Differs with Public and Leaders on Watchdog Issues

Report Summary American journalists have a different view of the way they do their job than does the public they serve and the leaders they cover. The outside world strongly faults the news media for its negativism. Journalists at all levels are equally adamant in rejecting this charge. They are no more adversarial than they […]

PublicationsNovember 27, 1994

Public Gives Press “C” Grade For Campaign Coverage

Report Summary With few exceptions, American voters were not very pleased with the way the press covered the fall election campaign. Exit surveys, which questioned over 20,000 voters as they left the polling booth, found the media getting average or below average grades for its work on the midterm elections. Fewer than half of respondents […]

PublicationsMarch 16, 1994

Mixed Message About Press Freedom on Both Sides of Atlantic

Report Summary In a comparative media survey across eight countries, the publics of North America and Western Europe credit the news media for its positive overall impact on their countries. Large majorities said the press helps their democracies and has a good influence on their societies — usually better than the influence of other institutions, […]

PublicationsMay 9, 1993

Waco and King Coverage Faulted

Report Summary In expressing significant doubts about press performance on the two most closely followed news events of the past month, at least two out of five Americans felt the press was too critical of the Clinton Administration and the FBI for their handling of the Waco, Texas cult tragedy. And one in three complained […]

PublicationsJanuary 13, 1993

It’s Still the Economy… Mr. Clinton

Report Summary Despite an upsurge in consumer confidence, the attention of the American public continues to be focused on the economy. Nearly two out of three Americans (62%) believes that the economy is still either in a recession, or in a depression, while only 34% of the public thinks that an economic recovery has begun.

PublicationsDecember 20, 1992

Press Sees Coverage as Having Hurt Bush Election Chances

Report Summary A substantial majority (55%) of the American journalists who followed the 1992 presidential campaign believe that George Bush’s candidacy was damaged by the way the press covered him. Only 11% feel that Gov. Bill Clinton’s campaign was harmed by the way the press covered his drive to the presidency. Moreover, one out of […]

PublicationsNovember 15, 1992

Voters Say ’Thumbs Up’ To Campaign, Process & Coverage

Report Summary The American electorate feels better about itself and better about the campaign process than it did four years ago. A panel back post-mortem survey of voters conducted the weekend following the election found 77% of Americans thinking they learned enough during the campaign to make an informed choice between President George Bush, Governor […]

PublicationsJune 4, 1992

The Campaign and the Press at Halftime

Report Summary While George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot have all criticized 1992 campaign press coverage, the three candidates might be surprised to learn that many members of the press community share their negative views.

PublicationsMay 8, 1992

Public Interest and Awarness of the News

Report Summary While news about the Rodney King verdict and the Los Angeles riots clearly dominated the public’s interest, reports about the condition of the economy were still very closely followed by four in ten Americans (39%). But attention to the economy dropped significantly since Times Mirror’s March and February polls (47% and 47% respectively). […]

PublicationsMarch 5, 1992

Washington Follows the Primaries

Report Summary The President’s approval ratings have slipped below 40% for the first time ever, a significant gender gap is re-emerging, and two traditionally strong constituencies — the affluent and younger voters — are starting to edge away from the President. While the now famous unnamed Democrat beats the President, the public still believes Bush […]

PublicationsJuly 18, 1991

Thomas Court Appointment Stirs Large Interest

Report Summary The nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court and stories relating to the condition of the economy were the most closely followed news events of the past four weeks. Thirty-five percent of the public said they were following news about the economy very closely and 33% said they were following news […]

PublicationsMay 23, 1991

Press Unfair to Quayle; Kennedy Coverage Blasted

Report Summary According to the latest Times Mirror monthly News Interest Index, most Americans (55%) think that the press is unfair in the way it covers the Vice President. Only one in three Americans (33%) regard coverage of him as fair. Republicans and Independents were more likely than Democrats to be critical of the way […]

PublicationsMarch 25, 1991

In the Gulf: Part II

Report Summary In the afterglow of victory in the Gulf the public offers little criticism of the press for the way it covered the war and shows almost no reservations about the military restrictions placed on war news. Over eight in ten Americans rated news coverage of the war as excellent or good, with fully […]

PublicationsJanuary 31, 1991

The People, The Press and The War in The Gulf

Report Summary The American public gives high marks to media coverage of the war in the Gulf at the same time as it calls for increased military control of how the news is covered. A fifty-seven percent majority believes that the military should increase its control over reporting of the war while 34% believe that […]

PublicationsNovember 16, 1990

Public Opinion of Election Coverage Improves

Report Summary American voters gave the press a C+ grade for its coverage of the 1990 campaign, but that is a substantial improvement over the D+ grade the press received for its coverage of the 1988 presidential campaign. The press received better ratings than the parties and the campaign professionals for Election ’90. In 1988, […]

PublicationsSeptember 14, 1990

Public Interest in Gulf Crisis Unabated

Report Summary Americans remain as attentive as they were a month ago to events in the Persian Gulf. Sixty-three percent of the public are following news about the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and the deployment of U.S. forces to the Persian Gulf very closely. Our August survey showed an only marginally higher level of interest […]

PublicationsMarch 8, 1990

Public Bids No Trump

Report Summary In a month in which no single news story dominated public attention, Americans registered a strong protest about the amount of news coverage devoted to the marital breakup of Donald and Ivana Trump. A record 55% said there was too much news about the Trumps. This is by far the largest “over covered” […]

PublicationsNovember 1, 1989

News Interest Index

Report Summary Two momentous news stories engaged the attention of a majority of the American public over the past four weeks. Nearly three in four Americans (73%) followed very closely news about the destruction caused by the San Francisco earthquake while half the public (50%) followed closely the recent news about the opening of the […]

PublicationsOctober 12, 1989

Hurrican Hugo Tops NII

Report Summary Two stories over the past four weeks are distinguished by how much and how little attention Americans paid to them. Reports of the amount of destruction caused by Hurricane Hugo were very closely followed by 60% of Americans, making it the third most closely followed story out of the 71 tracked by the […]