Tuesday, 6 July 2010

us: 66% angry with media/government a threat: 48%


ABCBSNBC Continue to Lose Audience

Matt Robare

The big three nightly news broadcasts, NBC Nightly, CBS Evening and ABC World, lost a combined one million viewers in the second quarter of 2010, according to TVNewser.

These numbers are comparable to the first quarter, which saw Evening News and World News get their lowest average viewers ever, while NBC's Winter Olympics coverage helped it get their highest average viewers since 2005. In the second quarter, NBC lost 440,000 viewers, ABC 260,000 and CBS 340,000. It was about this time last year that ABC and CBS' news programs had their lowest ratings ever.

These numbers are not at all surprising in light of the public's continued distrust of the old media. As Newsbusters' Rich Noyes wrote of a Rasmussen poll released earlier this month, "Perhaps as a result, the poll finds an astonishing two-thirds of the public (66 percent) say they are angry with the media, ‘including 33 percent who are very angry' with the press."

Polls going back to 1997 displayed a continued public distrust with the news media. In a Pew survey, 54 percent of Americans believed that the news media "gets in the way of society solving its problems." In 2006 a CBS poll showed 36 percent of adults had very little confidence in the news media.

There is also an expanding array of media options, both on the air and online. Not only can many of the evening news programs be found online shortly after broadcast, but 24 hour news channels allow one to get the content of the nightly news well before the program is on, to say nothing of multimedia sites such as Huffington Post, Brietbart and others which allow consumers access to a lot of news and opinion.

TVNewser also reports that the 24 hour channels are also losing viewers, though not at the same rate as evening news programs. (Here, here and here.)

—Matt Robare is Incoming Senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a thorough New Englander. Has written for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian since 2007 and will take over as Editorial and Opinion editor in the Autumn of this year.



48% See Government Today As A Threat to Individual Rights

June 24, 2010

Nearly half of American Adults see the government today as a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those rights.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Adults see the government today as a threat to rights. Thirty-seven percent (37%) hold the opposite view. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.

Most Republicans (74%) and unaffiliateds (51%) consider the government to be a threat to individual rights. Most Democrats (64%) regard the government as a protector of rights.

Additionally, most Americans (52%) say it is more important for the government to protect individual rights than to promote economic growth. Just 31% say promoting economic growth is more important. But again a sizable number (17%) of Adults aren't sure which is more important.

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This nationwide survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on June 18-19, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Men strongly believe it is more important for the government to protect individual rights, while women are almost evenly divided on the question.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of whites feel the emphasis should be on protecting individual rights. African-Americans are closely divided over which is more important.

There is little partisan disagreement when it comes to individual rights versus economic growth.

Data released earlier this week shows that 62% believe politicians want the government to have more power and money. At the same time, 58% think most voters want less power and money for the government.

This gap helps explain why just 21% believe that government today has the consent of the governed.

The Declaration of Independence asserts that governments are instituted among men to protect certain inalienable rights including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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See survey questions and toplines.

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