Survey: Few countries dislike their media as much as Americans

You know what looks like a great place? Canada.

Just look at today’s evidence. A survey from Pew about how people feel about their news media.

Canada is just one giant warm hug. The U.S.? Not so much.

People in Russia — Russia! — are more likely to feel their news media is doing their job well than Americans are, the survey says.

Sixty-eight percent of Russians think their news media does a good job of covering political leaders. This is in a country where opponents to the sitting president have a habit of turning up dead.

Americans? Fifty-eight percent think so about their media.

In fact, of the countries surveyed, Americans are among the least likely to think their news media does a good job of covering important events, Pew says.

The U.S. is also one of only a few countries where governing party supporters are less satisfied with their news media than are nonsupporters. In most countries, people who support the political party currently in power are more satisfied with the performance of their news media than those who do not support the governing party.

For example, in Sweden, the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party are the two parties that currently form the governing coalition in the country. About eight-in-ten Swedes (82%) who identify with these two parties say their news media do a good job of covering political issues fairly. Just 58% of Swedes who do not identify with these two parties agree.

The partisan gaps found in the survey indicate that, rather than being consistently tied to a particular ideological position, satisfaction with the news media across the globe is more closely related to support for the party in power – whether that party is left or right.

Public satisfaction with the news media also links closely to trust in one’s national government and a sense that the economy is doing well, which reinforces the point that, for most countries surveyed here, satisfaction with the media aligns with satisfaction on other country conditions rather than along a left-right spectrum.

It’s all honey and hugs for Canadians, though, where 82 percent of those surveyed think their news media does a good job of reporting important events.

Overall, Pew said there’s a correlation between trust in the news media and trust in government. The same is true with the economy. If people think the economy is doing well, they’re more inclined to think the news media is too.