Public and Media Perceptions on Iraq Success Diverging
- Just under one third see fair and balanced Iraq reporting
- Just over one third see accurate media coverage
- Many say negative media coverage damaging troop morale
- Public believes U.S. military officials most credible
A new Sacred Heart University Poll of 800 Americans nationwide finds the public and the media may be increasingly divided in perceptions of success in Iraq.
“Americans are discerning, through a maze of information sources, the truth about our status in Iraq. They see more success than the media is reporting,” said Jerry C. Lindsley, director of the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute. He added, “They are especially disturbed that negative media reports damage U.S. troop morale.”
Nearly three-quarters of all Americans surveyed, 70.7%, indicated they strongly or somewhat agreed that negative media reporting damages troop morale.
Over half of all survey respondents, 59.8%, agreed (strongly or somewhat) that negative media coverage damages prospects for success in Iraq because it encourages terrorists, and about half, 49.1%, agreed (strongly or somewhat) that things are likely going better for the U.S. than the U.S. media portrays.
Over one-third of those surveyed, 38.3%, agreed that media coverage of the Iraq conflict is accurate and under one-third, 31.2%, agreed that the coverage is fair and balanced.
Military officials slightly edge out U.S. news media – 30.8% to 28.3% -- when Americans surveyed were asked who they consider most likely to provide trustworthy and balanced reporting on the Iraq conflict. Others said U.S. government officials (4.8%) and foreign news media (20.8%).
EXPERT AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT
- Jerry C. Lindsley, director, Sacred Heart University Polling Institute
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How the Poll Was Conducted
The Sacred Heart University Polling Institute completed 800 interviews with residents nationwide between November 26 – December 5, 2007. The sample was generated proportional to population contribution in all 50 states. Statistically, a sample of 800 completed telephone interviews represents a margin for error of +/-3.5% at a 95% confidence level.