Poll: Less than a Quarter of Voters Trust Media’s Reporting on Crime

Police stand near a department of corrections building that was on fire during protests, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis., sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer a day earlier. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Morry Gash/AP Photo

Less than a quarter of voters trust the media to accurately report on crime, a Rasmussen Reports survey released Tuesday found.

Rasmussen Reports conducted the survey June 8-9, 2021, among 915 likely U.S. voters and asked, “Do most of the news media report fairly and accurately about the problem of crime in America?”

Less than a quarter, 24 percent, said “yes,” while a solid majority, 60 percent,” said “no.” Even a plurality of Democrats, 44 percent, expressed the belief that the news media do not accurately report on crime. Seventy-one percent of Republicans and 70 percent of independents agreed.

Additionally, 59 percent of black voters do not believe the media reports crime fairly or accurately, nor do 65 percent of other non-white voters.

The survey also asked respondents if they believe the media “tend to exaggerate the amount of violent crime in America, do they tend to underplay the amount of violent crime, or is the media’s coverage of violent crime about right?”

One-third of voters said the media tend to exaggerate the amount of violent crime, but a plurality, 38 percent, said they believe the media underplay the amount of violent crime. Twenty percent said the media’s coverage is “about right”:

President Joe Biden’s strongest supporters are more likely to trust the media’s crime reporting. Among voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 44% believe most of the news media report fairly and accurately about the problem of crime in America. By contrast, among voters who Strongly Disapprove of Biden’s performance, only seven percent (7%) think the media report fairly and accurately about crime.

The survey’s margin of error is +/- 3 percent.

During a Monday appearance on CNBC’s The News with Shepard Smith, former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton warned of a potential crime surge in the United States this Summer.

“The sudden rise in crime caught a lot of the government agencies and the public off-guard. The focus has been on the COVID virus [Chinese coronavirus],” he said.

“Unlike the last crime epidemic that took decades to build up in the early 90s, this one has literally occurred overnight. It’s like a virus, literally out of nowhere. Solutions are not immediately apparent,” Bratton continued.

“We’re in for a long, very dangerous summer,” he added. “That’s the reality.”

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