Just 7% of journalists identify as Republican
Nothing we don't know already, except the percentage of reporters who call themselves Republican is a lot smaller than I thought it might be. Ten years ago, 18% of reporters identified as Republicans compared to 7% today.
The number of journalists identifying as independent is at 50.2 percent, the highest percentage since the survey began, and the number identifying as Democrat dropped to 28.1 percent. Of those polled, 14.6 percent identified as “other.” That means nearly 65 percent of journalists polled don't identify with either of the major parties.
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza notes two caveats to those numbers: The first, is that the study is among all reporters, not just political reporters whose party identification may be a lot different. Second, “the movement toward independent status among reporters is in keeping with a similar move in the broader electorate as they find the two parties increasingly rigid and, therefore, less welcoming.”
We’ll add another – the parties of today are much different than those in the 1970s. Additionally, 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 bias based on their political affiliation.
Some other interesting tidbits from the survey: Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed think journalism in the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction; job satisfaction has dropped from a quick peak in 2002 to just 23.3 percent of journalists saying they are “very satisfied” in their jobs; and only 12.1 percent find reaching the widest audience possible “extremely important.”
Meanwhile, the number of journalists who consider their role to be “investigating government claims” is at its highest yet, with 78.2 percent finding that aspect of their jobs “extremely important.
That number of "independent" journalists is absurd. If 50% of reporters were really independent, Barack Obama would have already been ridden out of town on a rail. Obviously, most reporters who call themselves "independent" actually support Democrats - except for a few "maverick" Republicans now and then.
The most fascintating number in the survey may be the 14.6% who are politically affiliated with "other parties. Which ones? Commies? Greens? Constitution Party? I'll bet a lot of them are Libertarian Party supporters.
The proof is in the vote.In TV news alone, 88% of reporters, editors, and execs voted for Obama in 2008.It's at least that high in major print and online media. It will probably remain that way as long as conservatives prefer to make money, create wealth, and build companies rather than work as journalists.