Study: Slight majority see press as a key watchdog

Is it enough to help the 28 percent of recent journalism grads who wish they’d choose another career path, though?

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Amid a series of glum reports on the press, at least one recent survey is finding a silver lining in being a journalist today. The Pew Research Center found that a slight majority of the public continues to believe that the press acts as an important watchdog by ensuring politicians don’t stray from doing their jobs. In particular, the survey noted that recent government activities, including NSA surveillance and IRS issues, have slightly enhanced the press’s watchdog role.

Support for the media’s watchdog role has risen 10 points since 2011 even as other press ratings have shown little sign of improvement, the survey said. In another highlight, the survey found that younger people under 30 are as likely as older Americans to put importance on the press’s role in making sense of the deluge of available news and information.

Young people are also more likely than in 2011 to view journalists as important watchdogs.

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