While clear majorities of both parties support the idea of the watchdog function, a substantial partisan gap exists: About six-in-ten Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (61%) say it is important for journalists to function as watchdogs, compared with about eight-in-ten Democrats and Democratic leaners (83%).
The gap widens when Americans are asked to evaluate journalists' current performance. Republicans are roughly four times as likely as Democrats to say journalists are going too far in their watchdog role. The current analysis stems from a survey of 12,043 U.S. adults who are members of the Center’s American Trends Panel, conducted Oct. 29-Nov. 11, 2019.
Visit Pew's data tool to dig deeper into survey questions about the media's watchdog function.