MEDIA
08/08/2013 03:48 pm ET | Updated Aug 08, 2013

Media's Role As 'Watchdog' Seen Favorably Among Public: Pew

AP

It's no secret that the public's trust in the media has hit record lows in recent years. Study after study shows that the public possesses unfavorable views of the media and its at-times hyper-partisan ways.

But a new survey out from Pew found the one area where the public hasn't completely lost faith in the fourth estate: the media's role as watchdog. According to Pew, "Support for the media’s watchdog role has risen 10 points since 2011 even as other press ratings have shown little sign of improvement."

The results are particularly interesting amid growing tensions between President Obama's administration and the press. Earlier this year, reports surfaced that the Department of Justice labeled one Fox News reporter a "co-conspirator" in a leaks case. The DOJ also secretly monitored multiple phone lines belonging to Associated Press journalists.

According to the Pew study, 68 percent of respondents said that "press criticism of political leaders keeps them from doing things that should not be done." Only 21 percent said that press criticism kept leaders from doing their jobs. After sparking outrage by secretly monitoring journalists, the DOJ revised its media guidelines relating to leaks investigations.

As to be expected, other results from the survey painted a particularly bleak picture. A whopping 67 percent of respondents said news reports were "often inaccurate," and even more thought that the news was biased. A total of 76 percent of respondents said news organizations favored one side, and 75 percent of respondents said news reports were often influenced by powerful people.

(h/t Pew)

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