What especially stands out is the gap between journalists and the public. Five hundred and 47 print and broadcast journalists were questioned. Researchers found their values differ markedly from non-journalists. Some examples: the survey found that only 6 percent of journalists believe that faith in God is necessary to be moral, while 58 percent of the general public believe that; a whopping 88 percent of journalists believe society should accept homosexuality, but just 51 percent of the public agree; while 20 percent of the public describe themselves as "liberal," 34 percent of journalists are self-described liberals; 33 percent of the public say they are conservative, but a paltry 7 percent of journalists claim to be conservative.
"Most liberals don't see a liberal point of view," the researchers said. It is revealing how out of touch journalists are with the people they are supposed to be serving when less than a quarter of the liberal journalists could name a news organization that is "especially" liberal, but 79 percent could name a conservative outlet. The 7 percent of conservative journalists had an easier time naming conservative and liberal outlets (68 percent for both).
This survey, as has been the case with so many others, reveals that the problem in journalism isn't solely the popularity of the Internet. It is a loss of credibility in the profession that has caused people to lose the habit (or never acquire it) of consuming news, as presented to them by the big news outlets, which are considered out of touch with their views. Those who force-feed junk to the public are deliberately blind to the damage they have done. The survey says, "Most liberals don't see a liberal point of view." That is to their shame and damages the profession.
There is much talk of "diversity" in newsrooms, but it is all about race and gender, not ideology. Maybe journalism should conduct an "affirmative action" program to aggressively seek out more conservative reporters and editors who will report more stories that reflect something other than a consistently liberal point of view. Journalists will, if they want to save their jobs and help their profession. They won't, if they keep their eyes, ears and minds closed to surveys like this.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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