What You Like and Hate About the Media Depends on Your Political Leanings

A new Pew survey breaks it down.

Last Friday, Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi sent out a plea to readers, asking them to stop considering the media as monolith. “Fact is, there really is no such thing as ‘the media.’ It’s an invention, a tool, an all-purpose smear by people who can’t be bothered to make distinctions,” he wrote.

But even if you persist in treating all media as one and calling out this “invention,” as Farhi describes it, how you do so and why depends on your political leanings. What doesn’t, these end times?

A new Pew survey asked participants two questions–basically, what they liked and hated most about the media–and analyzed the results based on respondents’ political leanings, broken down into four categories: conservative Republican, liberal/moderate Republican, conservative/moderate Democrat and liberal Democrat. The most striking differences were between the polar ends, in both their likes and dislikes.

The best thing the media does, according to 41 percent of conservative Republicans, is report on the news, something just 25 percent of liberal Democrats chose as their favorite. At 38 percent, “provide a service to the public” was what liberal Democrats chose as their favorite, compared to 18 percent of conservative Republicans.

As for media hate, 35 percent of conservative Republicans directed that toward “reporting biased news,” their number one beef with media. That received the biggest percentage of any criticism by any group. Next highest, at 25 percent, were liberal Democrats, who cited “poor choices in the news they cover or how they cover it,” as the thing they dislike most about media.

Sounds about right, we say to ourselves as we think, unscientifically, about our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

You can read more here.