Cable and Internet Loom Large in Fragmented Political News Universe(2)

Source Organization: Pew Research Center

01/12/2004 - We have a poll that shows cable news and the Internet are looming larger this year as sources of campaign information, as smaller numbers of Americans are turning to broadcast TV and newspapers. In addition, young people are increasingly saying that they are learning about the campaign from comedy shows such as the Daily Show and Saturday Night Live.

But the poll finds that people who say they are learning things about politics on comedy shows don't know much about the current campaign. The Internet, on the other hand, has a well-informed audience and active use of the net for politics is strongly linked to a high level of knowledge about the campaign.

The survey also finds that the nation's deep political divisions are reflected in public views of campaign coverage. As many Americans now say news organizations are biased in favor of one of the two parties as say there is no bias in election coverage (39% vs. 38%). This marks a major change from previous surveys taken regularly since 1987. An increasing number of Democrats, in particular, see campaign coverage as biased in favor of the Republicans.

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