(The Hill) — Roughly three-quarters of Americans in a new poll say the news media is widening the political divide.
Seventy-four percent of U.S. adults believe the media is increasing political divisions, while just 6 percent said it’s decreasing polarization and 18 percent said it doesn’t have an impact, according to a new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.
Broken down by party, 72 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of independents said they think the news media is stoking the divisions.
Nearly all adults, or 93 percent, said they see the spread of misinformation to be a problem, with roughly three-quarters of both Democrats and Republicans flagging it as a “major” issue.
Sixty-one percent of Republicans said the news media is “hurting democracy,” while just 23 percent of Democrats and 36 percent of independents feel the same.
About three-quarters of respondents said “news stories that mostly create conflict rather than help address it” is a “major” problem in the U.S.
Majorities agreed other major problems include outlets “that spread conspiracy theories and unsubstantiated rumors,” “journalists from real news organizations making stuff up” and “journalists having too much opinion in their stories.”
Conducted March 30-April 3, the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll surveyed 1,002 U.S. adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.