New Study Reveals Grads and Staff Have Mixed Media Reactions
By: Joseph Geglia
Eugene(OR)- Twenty percent of graduate students and staff at the University of Oregon believe that news stories are accurate a new survey reveals..
Of the five men and five women surveyed by Reporting1Blog on Tuesday, a majority thought that news stories either misconstrued or missed facts entirely. This survey comes at a time where most traditional media outlets are seeing their viewers and readers tuning out.
“Facts yes, presentation not. They build the facts to be sensational,” said Joseph Holm, a graduate student in the school of architecture.
The problem seems to be hitting broadcasts more than print. Ninety percent of those surveyed said that they read a newspaper either in print or online, while two fifths of people surveyed looked to the television for news. Of those who do watch news broadcasts, the local news received 40% of the viewings and CNN 30%.
When survey takers had to pick from a list whom they considered to be a journalist Ann Curry won out with four people. Several surveyed said they didn’t consider Curry nor Rachel Maddow, Steven Colbert or Glenn Beck to be journalists.
“None. I’m thinking of the person who gathered the facts and put the story together,” says Andrew Detzel, a graduate student studying mathematics.
Sherri Wolf, a referral coordinator at the health center, shared this sentiment. “I think of journalists as people who write. I’d hope they’d have to do research before they go out and speak.”
Though the methods of newsgathering from person to person varied, everyone participating had experience with social networking. Everyone surveyed had a Facebook account. Two thirds of people interviewed had a MySpace account, blog, or LinkedIn account. No one had a Twitter account.
The final revelation of the survey came with the question of media bias. The survey showed a five-way split amongst those surveyed. While four people believed that the media had either a predominant conservative or liberal slant, two people thought the mainstream media tended to be biased towards both ideologies.
“Both, but none seem to be more predominant than the other,” said Brian Stonelake, a graduate student studying mathematics. “[It] depends on the media and the person reporting. Usually in favor of one group or another,” said Amrita Banerjee, a graduate teaching fellow in philosophy.
Another two people thought the media was unbiased, and the final two thought the media was biased towards other factors. Joseph Holm blamed “advertising and corporate interest” for the perceived media bias.