NEW YORK — The nation’s partisan divide is evident when Americans are asked about what should be done to help the nation’s struggling local news industry.
While two-thirds of Democrats say news organizations in need should be able to receive government or private funding in order to survive, only 17
Republicans are also more likely to take a sink-or-swim attitude toward the press. While 72
“It’s not surprising to me to see the level of polarization in general shading most people’s views toward anything to do with the media,” said Sam Gill,
Republicans are more likely to view the media as hostile and biased, along with having a deep-seated suspicion toward government involvement in the public discourse, he said.
Local news has suffered over the past two decades as readers and advertisers found alternatives online. More than 2,000 local newspapers in the United States have closed since 2004, according to the University of North Carolina.
One barrier toward halting that trend is a lack of public awareness: The Knight/Gallup study found that 56
There are positive signs. The survey found that nearly six in 10 Americans consider newspapers an important symbol of civic pride. Eighty-six
But the number of people supporting news has dwindled. The survey said 30
The organizations took two surveys over the summer that included 1,701 people chosen by random sampling to be on a Gallup panel. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Gill said journalists have been adjusting the way they produce news to accommodate the changing ways in which Americans access it.
“I think we should be asking the same questions about the business,” he said.
David Bauder, The Associated Press