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New evidence that the Public doesn’t believe what is coming from the mainstream media. Only 23% of Americans feel that the media is providing an accurate picture of the economy. That is on top of a recent report saying Fifty-four percent (54%) of U.S. voters say the news media make global warming appear worse than it really is.

Along with the mistrust of media reports on key issues, America wants the government to keep its paws off talk radio, almost three quarters of Americans feel that with all of the different media choices availability to consumers, all different sides of an issue are well represented.

Read the full analysis and survey answers below:

55% Say Media Tries to Make Economy Seem Worse Than It Is

Fifty-five percent (55%) of U.S. voters believe the media tries to make the economy seem worse that it is. That’s an increase from 46% in November.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 23% believe the nation’s professional reporters and commentators try to present an accurate picture of the economy. Thirteen (13%) believe the media tries to make the economy seem better than it really is.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of Republicans say the media paints a bleaker picture of the economy than the facts merit. That view is shared by 44% of Democrats and 59% of those not affiliated with either major party.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of all voters believe the media plays a Very Important role in shaping perceptions of the economy. Another 27% say their role is Somewhat Important. These figures are slightly lower than the number who believe the president’s comments play a significant role in shaping perceptions of the economy.

Data from the Rasmussen Consumer Index shows that workplace conditions play a major role on perceptions of the economy. Those who work for firms that are laying people off have a much more pessimistic view of the economy than those who work for firms that are hiring.

The media industry has been in serious economic trouble for some time now, with media owners posting major losses, newspapers closing and many journalists being laid off or bought out. However, voters are evenly divided as to whether or not media industry troubles are causing journalists to be more negative in their coverage. Thirty-four percent (34%) say yes, 35% say no, and 31% are not sure.

The majority perception that the media isn’t painting a straight picture of the economy matches similar Rasmussen Reports findings about global warming and political coverage. Earlier this month, 54% of voters said the news media makes global warming appear worse than it really is.

Just before last November’s election, 68% of voters said most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win, and 51% believed they were trying to help Democrat Barack Obama

Just seven percent (7%) thought they were trying to help his Republican opponent, John McCain. The number of those suspecting a tilt toward Obama had grown since June.

But while some liberal congressional Democrats would like to restore the so-called Fairness Doctrine because of their concern about the conservative tilt of talk radio, just 38% of voters think the government should require all radio stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary. President Obama signaled several days ago that he opposes bringing back the Fairness Doctrine.

Just 38% of U.S. voters think that the government should require all radio stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary.

Forty-seven percent (47%) oppose government-imposed political balance on radio stations, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure which course is better.

These findings are a dramatic nine-point drop-off in support for the Fairness Doctrine from a survey last August when 47% said the government should require all radio and television stations to offer balanced political commentary.

Only 26% of voters believe conservatives have an unfair advantage in the media, the argument several senior congressional Democrats use in pushing for the restoration of the Fairness Doctrine. Sixty-four percent (64%) disagree.

Most (52%) liberals say conservatives have an unfair advantage, while 79% of conservatives and 64% of moderates disagree.

Even a majority of Democratic voters (53%) say that conservatives do not have an unfair advantage in the media.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of voters overall say it is possible for just about any political view to be heard in today’s media with the Internet, cable networks, satellite radio, newspapers, radio and TV available. Just 19% disagree.

1* When covering economic issues, do most reporters and media outlets try to make the economy seem worse than it really is, better than it really is, or do they present an accurate picture of the economy?

55% Worse
13% Better
23% They present an accurate picture
9% Not sure

2* How important is the media in shaping the public’s perception of the state of the economy?

58% Very important
27% Somewhat important
6% Not very important
3% Not at all important
5% Not sure

3* The media industry is having very hard times with many traditional news outlets laying off reporters. Does the fact that the media industry is struggling make media coverage more negative than it would be if some other industry was in trouble?

34% Yes
35% No
31% Not sure

63-14* How closely have you followed recent news stories about proposals to restore the “Fairness Doctrine”?
28% Very closely
24% Somewhat closely
29% Not very closely
14% Not at all
5% Not sure
63-15* Should the government require all radio stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary?
38% Yes
47% No
15% Not sure
63-16* Some members of Congress are suggesting that the Fairness Doctrine should be revived because conservatives have an unfair advantage in the media. Do you agree or disagree with the statement that conservatives have an unfair advantage in the media?
26% Agree
64% Disagree
10% Not sure
63-17* With the Internet, cable networks, satellite radio, newspapers, radio, and TV, is it possible for just about any political view to be heard in today’s media?
74% Yes
19% No
6% Not sure
63-18* How likely is that Congress will pass the Fairness Doctrine – very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, not at all likely?
14% Very likely
37% Somewhat likely
31% Not very likely
6% Not at all likely
12% Not sure

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