Jul. 24, 2001

Laura and Hillary Polls Apart

Introduction and Summary Six months into her husband’s presidency, Laura Bush has made a positive impression on the American public. A strong majority (64%) has a favorable opinion of the first lady, and most approve of the way she’s handling her job. Although her predecessor, Hillary Clinton, drew a comparable favorability rating of 60% at […]

Oct. 15, 2000

Media Seen As Fair, But Tilting to Gore

Introduction and Summary Voters generally believe the media has been fair to both major presidential candidates, but more say the press has been fair to Al Gore than to George W. Bush. Fully 74% of voters say the vice president has gotten fair press treatment, while 65% say the same about Bush. Nearly six-in-ten voters […]

Jun. 11, 2000

Internet Sapping Broadcast News Audience

Introduction and Summary Traditional news outlets are feeling the impact of two distinct and powerful trends. Internet news has not only arrived, it is attracting key segments of the national audience. At the same time, growing numbers of Americans are losing the news habit. Fewer people say they enjoy following the news, and fully half […]

Feb. 5, 2000

The Tough Job of Communicating with Voters

Introduction and Summary American voters are hard to reach and hard to move. They rely on a kaleidoscope of media outlets, old and new, to follow news about the presidential campaign — virtually all of which are given a mixed review for political objectivity. And most voters say that political endorsements by celebrities, local newspapers, […]

Sep. 15, 1999

Too Much Money, Too Much Media Say Voters

Introduction and Summary Americans are showing signs of disaffection with a presidential campaign that is just beginning. The public thinks the press and large campaign contributors are having too much influence on who gets nominated, and a 60% majority thinks voters themselves have too little say. The latest Pew Research Center survey, conducted on the […]

Jul. 27, 1999

JFK Jr Tragedy Attracts Huge Audience

Introduction and Summary News of the disappearance and death of John F. Kennedy Jr. attracted a large news audience last week, but most Americans think that news organizations over-covered the story. More than eight-in-ten paid attention to news of the tragedy, and as many as 54% paid very close attention. It ranks as one of […]

Mar. 30, 1999

Striking the Balance, Audience Interests, Business Pressures and Journalists’ Values

Introduction and Summary Journalists increasingly agree with public criticism of their profession and the quality of their work. Overwhelmingly, news media professionals say the lines have blurred between commentary and reporting and between entertainment and news. A growing number of reporters, editors and news executives also say that news reports are full of factual errors […]

Feb. 25, 1999

Public Votes for Continuity and Change in 2000

Introduction and Summary The anomalies of American public opinion continue even as the impeachment trial fades into history. Today, the public view of the state of the nation is much improved, despite the fact that a major component of that view — trust in government — remains low. Politically, the public expresses negative views of […]

Jun. 8, 1998

Internet News Takes Off

Introduction and Summary The Pew Research Center’s biennial news use survey finds that overall Americans are reading, watching and listening to the news just as often as they were two years ago. But the type of news Americans follow and the way they follow it are being fundamentally reshaped by technological change and the post-Cold […]

Feb. 6, 1998

Popular Policies and Unpopular Press Lift Clinton Ratings

Introduction and Summary A strong State of the Union address combined with public anger at the news media fueled President Clinton’s unexpected lift to a 71% approval rating — even as allegations of a White House sex scandal consumed Washington. When asked in a Pew Research Center re-interview survey why they had changed their minds […]

Mar. 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 […]

Oct. 4, 1996

Dole Can’t Cash In on Mixed View of Clinton

Introduction and Summary Bill Clinton continues to hold a commanding lead over Bob Dole and Ross Perot, but it is not because voters are delighted with his record, or because the electorate is euphoric about economic conditions, or because people expect better things to come. American voters are modest in their enthusiasm for Bill Clinton, […]

Aug. 2, 1996

A Dull Campaign, Clinton Will Win Say More than 70% of Voters

Introduction and Summary An overwhelming majority of Americans (73%) think the presidential campaign is dull so far. Almost as many (71%) believe that President Clinton will defeat expected Republican challenger Bob Dole next November. The former Senate majority leader is widely criticized for the job he is doing as he attempts to convince people to […]

May. 13, 1996

TV News Viewership Declines

Introduction and Summary Television news is in trouble with the American public. Fewer adults are regularly watching it these days. Viewership of nightly network news is particularly hard hit. Fewer than half the public (42%) now says it regularly watches one of the three nightly network broadcasts — down from 48% in 1995 and 60% […]

May. 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 […]

Apr. 6, 1995

Network News Viewing And Newspapers Reading Off

Report Summary Fewer people are reading newspapers and watching network television news these days. It is unclear whether this is a continuation of the long-term decline in audiences of both media, or whether it is a result of the O.J. Simpson trial, which has gripped the attention of a significant percentage of core news consumers.

Nov. 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 […]

Mar. 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, […]

Jun. 18, 1993

Clinton’s Press Judged as Less Fair than Bush’s and Reagan’s

REPORT SUMMARY Many Americans think the press is being unfair to Bill Clinton, and the public most often complains that the media has come to an earlier judgment about this President’s performance than it did about his predecessors. But the public does not blame the press for being too critical of Bill Clinton, nor for causing […]

May. 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 […]