Americans Favor Freedom Of The Press, But It Varies By Group, Pew Reports

Most Americans support freedom of the press as defined by the First Amendment. But not everyone is equally enthusiastic, according to a study by Pew Research. 

Overall, 73% feel press freedom is extremely or very important, and 18% say it’s somewhat so.  

At 78% each, White and Asian Americans are most in favor of the concept. In contrast, 61% of Hispanics and 60% of Black Americans feel the same way.  

There are no major differences by political party, Pew writes. But those with higher formal educations and income levels are significantly more likely to back press freedom than those with less education and lower incomes. 

And, despite these positive feelings, only 33% say media are completely free to report the news, versus 46% who indicate they are somewhat so and 18% not very.  

What’s more, 84% feel U.S. news outlets are influenced by corporate/financial interests a great deal; 83% say the same about government/political interests. 



In this area, there is some diversity of views depending on political party. Of Republicans or those who lean that way, 60% say media are influenced a great deal by financial interests, compared to 45% of Democrats or people who lean toward that party. 

Even more Republicans, 67%, feel that government and political interests impact the press, while only 34% of Democrats agree.  

Democrats are more likely to say media in the U.S. are completely free to report the news (38% vs. 29%). And 29% of GOPers say media are not very free (as do only 12% of Democrats) and 47% of Republicans are concerned about potential restrictions.

At the same time, 51% say the publication of false information should always be prevented, even it means restricting press freedom. But 46% argue that freedom should be ensured no matter what. 

And, again, it depends on the group. Support for protecting press freedom over curbing misinformation falls this way:

  • Men—53%
  • Women—40%
  • White—50%
  • Black—35%
  • Hispanic—40% 
  • Asian—38% 
  • Rep/Lean Rep—57%
  • Dem/Lean Dem—38%

The analysis is based on a survey of U.S. adults conducted from April 1-7, 2024. 

1 comment about "Americans Favor Freedom Of The Press, But It Varies By Group, Pew Reports".
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  1. Steven Cohn from Ex-Media Industry Newsletter, April 23, 2024 at 7:50 p.m.

    Ray:  Are you sure that far more Republicans support protections of press freedom than Democrats?  The text suggests otherwise.  Plus, Republicans' suspicions of the press date back to Watergate, and they have been amplified by Trump.
       The same applies to men and white peiple supporting press freedom over women and minorities.  The former two groups tend to support Republicans more than the latter two.

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