Media organizations received mixed grades this morning from the disturbing yet fascinating Civility in America annual survey measuring opinions about how people and institutions deal with each other. The third report on the subject from PR firm Weber Shandwick and KRC Research shows that 63% of the public considers incivility to be a major problem — with a majority adding that they expect it to grow worse and harm the country. The leading culprits, according to the online survey in April of 1,000 adults, are politicians (63% say they’re making things worse), government officials (57%), the economy (57%), and America’s youth (55%) — followed by the media (50%), celebrities (42%), and corporate America (42%). But a deeper dive into people’s feelings about media shows striking nuances. Overall, 62% consider the general tone of the media to be uncivil, an improvement from last year’s 74%. And respondents were more generous in assessing specific outlets. Fox News is considered the most uncivil, but only by 35% of respondents — and that’s down from last year’s 51%. The list also includes MSNBC (31%, down from 37%), CNN (31% vs 32% last year), and The New York Times (29%, same as last year). Broadcast news organizations weren’t named last year but this year include NBC News (24% consider it uncivil), ABC News (23%), CBS News (23%), and PBS (16%).
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