Thursday, September 12, 2019

Americans Are Troubled By The Current State of the Media

Bospar, the boutique PR firm, has released the results of its Ethics in Media survey. The new data comes as Bospar hosts its Ethics in Media panel with the San Francisco Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and the San Francisco Press Club on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m.

ABC Veteran anchor Cheryl Jennings will moderate the discussion. Panelists include former Wall Street Journal reporter and Message Lab CEO Ben Worthen and former KRON Executive Producer and Bospar Principal Curtis Sparrer.

Bospar and Propeller Insights surveyed 1,010 American adults and discovered that more than 95% are troubled by the current state of media. The reasons for their concern include the following:
  • Reports on fake news – 53%
  • Reporting gossip – 49%
  • Lying spokespeople – 48%
  • Celebrity opinions – 36%
  • Left-wing agendas – 34%
  • Gotcha journalism – 33%
  • Right-wing agendas – 32%
  • Puff pieces in exchange for access to other important interviews – 31%
  • Blind items being reported in the news – 30%
  • Hit pieces – 21%
  • Rise of independent contributors versus on-staff media – 14%
And an overwhelming majority (67%) believe ethics in journalism will be worse during the 2020 presidential campaign. When asked about the impact unethical journalism has on the country, Americans cited four chief problems:
  • 64%: It creates division and partisanship
  • 63%: It fuels inaccuracies
  • 60%: It incites hate
  • 57%: It creates fear
“If ever there was a time for an in-depth discussion about ethics in the media, it’s now,” said James Ennis Kirkland, president of the San Francisco Press Club.

The survey group considered local print and online journalists as the most ethical (40%), followed by local TV reporters and anchors (23%) and national print and online journalists (22%). Only 15% of Americans said national TV anchors and reporters were the most ethical.

“When you look at perceptions of ethics in journalism, based on political affiliation, those aligned with the Democratic Party are significantly more likely to consider national journalists/anchors/reporters ethical, when compared to those aligned with the Republican Party or other minor parties,” said Gabrielle Ayala, Principal of Propeller Insights. “This is no surprise, given the current battles being waged by all groups in politics and the media to control the narrative and position themselves as the bearers of truth.”

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