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Most Believe Reporters Publish Damaging Info First, Check Facts Later

Thursday, November 10, 2011

If it hurts a candidate they don’t like, most voters believe that reporters would publish damaging allegations first and seek to verify the facts later.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 54% of likely voters nationwide believe most reporters would follow the “publish first” approach while 34% believe the reporters would try to verify the facts before publishing them. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

“Voters have come to view reporters as activists in the political process, rather than observers,” notes Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. “Most believe a typical reporter will use different standards based upon whether they like or dislike a candidate.”

Most Republicans and unaffiliated voters think reporters would publish the damaging information first while Democrats are evenly divided.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on November 7-8, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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