- The Washington Times - Friday, January 18, 2019

The public’s relationship with the press is getting personal, and not in a good way. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans — 73 percent — say the news media does not understand “people like them” according to a new analysis from the Pew Research Center released Friday.

The Republicans are not alone. A majority of Americans — 58 percent — also say the press doesn’t understand them.

“By comparison, most Democrats (58 percent) say they feel understood by the news media,” wrote Pew Research analysts Jeffrey Gottfried and Elizabeth Grieco, who examined polling data collected from over 5,000 U.S. adults during 2018.

The analysis also revealed that these Republican feelings of alienation from the press span all ages, levels of education, genders and even the level of interest Republicans have in the news itself.

The study found, for example, that 74 percent of Republicans with less than a high school education feel misunderstood by the media; so do 76 percent of those with a college education or above. The findings were almost identical among GOP men and women, and in both younger and older age demographics.

“Among Democrats, however, there are differences across demographic traits, especially when it comes to education and age,” the analysis said. “About three-in-ten Democrats with at least a college degree (29 percent) feel misunderstood by the news media, compared with 42 percent of those with some college education and 47 percent of those with a high school diploma or less. Democrats ages 50 and older are also less likely to feel misunderstood than those under age 50 (35 percent vs. 44 percent).”

Though the levels of interest in the news can vary among Democrats, they are still “much less likely than Republicans to feel misunderstood by the news media,” the analysts found.

“The deep divides between Republicans and Democrats in feeling misunderstood by news organizations is largely in line with partisan divides in trust in national media and perceived fairness in news coverage,” the study said.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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