More Educated and Younger Americans More Concerned About Others’ Media Bias

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Six in seven Americans think there is at least a fair amount of political bias in news coverage in general, and over half say the same of the news source they rely on most, according to a recent Gallup/Knight Foundation study. Yet 69% of Americans say they are more concerned about bias in the news other people consume than its presence in their own news (29%).

While attitudes on most aspects of media covered in the wide-ranging study vary principally by political party, similar percentages of all party groups are mainly concerned about bias in others’ news sources, rather than their own. Roughly seven in 10 Republicans (68%), Democrats (72%) and independents (69%) express this view. However, those who identify as liberal (80%) are more concerned than conservatives (68%) and moderates (65%) with other people’s media bias.

Differences in Americans’ concern about the bias other people are exposed to are particularly striking when viewed by education level, with higher concern seen at each level of educational attainment. Specifically, whereas 52% of Americans with a high school education or less are more concerned about bias in others’ news than in their own, the figure is 64% among those with some college education and is even higher among college graduates (73%) and those with postgraduate education (77%).

Also, seniors are somewhat less concerned with the bias in others’ news than adults under 50: 64% of those 65 and older have this concern, compared with 72% of those aged 30-49 and 73% of those 18-29.

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Levels of concern about news bias also differ based on race/ethnicity and gender. While 58% of Black adults are more concerned about bias in others’ news than in their own, fully 73% of Asian Americans and 72% of White adults say the same. Men (73%) harbor these concerns more than women (66%).

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