Survey Shows Skepticism

Staff and graduate students doubt journalistic intentions.

By: Jody Canaday

Modern journalism is often criticized for its lack of objectivity.  A recent survey conducted on the University of Oregon campus revealed that 90 percent  of staff members and graduate students believe the media portrays some for of bias.

Journalism students were sent out to interview 10 random staff members and/or graduate students.  Participants identified which mediums they used to gather news and how much time they spent with each source.  They were also asked how much they trusted different forms of media.

Twenty percent of the people poled believe that news has a conservative spin.  Susan, Dermbach, a programs specialist for risk management, believes that loca news favors a liberal point of view, while Fox News tends to favor conservatives.

Carol Daly, the senior director of development, leadership, and gifts, said that news tends to be more liberal, but calling it biased was the wrong word.  Daly said that using the word “biased” suggests that the media is being deliberate with their slant.

News consumption was diverse among the surveyed participants.  Internet, newspapers, and television were all popular choices for accessing the news.  Each medium was used by at least 60 percent of the people surveyed.  Katy Lenn, who works at the Knight Library information desk, said she uses NPR radio to get her daily dose of news.

Given the names of Stephen Colbert, Glenn Beck, Rachel Madow, and Ann Curry, participants were asked to select which person they considered to be a journalist.  University of Oregon alum Ann Curry came in first place with 40 percent of the vote.  “None of the above” came in second place with a 30 percent showing.

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