Survey: Only 7 Percent of Journalists Identify as Republican

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 05:18 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Only 7 percent of U.S. news reporters identify as Republican, less than half the number who did so just a decade ago, a new survey finds.

Results from The American Journalist in the Digital Age survey by two Indiana University journalism professors found the percentage of those identifying as Democrats has dipped as well since 2002.

According to the review — conducted via online interviews with 1,080 reporters — the percentage of full-time journalists who say they are Republican dropped from 18 percent in 2002 to 7.1 percent in 2013.

In 1971, the first time the survey was conducted, 25.7 percent identified as Republican.

The results were first published by The Washington Post.

Also compared with 2002, the percentage of full-time reporters who say they are Democrats has dropped 8 percentage points, to about 28 percent in 2013 — the lowest figure since 1971.

The number of declared Republican reporters is much lower than the percentage of U.S. adults who say they're Republican: 24 percent, according to a December 2013 Washington Post/ABC poll, The Post noted.

Meanwhile, 50.2 percent of reporters identify as independent, the highest percentage since the survey began; 14.6 percent identified as "other," the survey found — which means nearly 65 percent of journalists polled don't identify with either of the major parties, Politico reported.

"What seems to be happening — at least in the last decade — is that journalists are leaving both parties, finding themselves more comfortable as unaffiliateds," The Post reported.

The Post noted the survey findings could fuel suspicions about a Democratic media bias.

"The parties of today are much different than those in the 1970s," Politico noted. "With everyone's information readily available through a quick online search, it's no surprise journalists would be more willing to stay in the 'independent' lane rather than risk being called biased based on their political affiliation."

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