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July 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Americans’ regard for journalists has plummeted over the past four years, with 27 percent saying that they contribute little or nothing to society’s well-being, according to a new Pew Research Center study. (Business executives rank slightly lower at 28 percent and lawyers rank last at 34 percent.) The study found that 28 percent of adults believe that journalists contribute a lot to society’s well-being versus 38 percent who held that opinion in 2009. That trend, said the study, was particularly notable among women. While in 2013 29 percent said journalists contribute a lot to society, 46 percent said so in 2009. Posted on the website operated by the Poynter journalism school in Florida, the study drew comments that appeared to reflect the results. “I can’t hate ‘journalists’ enough,” wrote one person. “I would celebrate if someone went out and hung the pundits up by their heels from the nearest bridge, just as they did Mussolini.” Another wrote, “These people care more for the styling of their hair than the facts. They hype everything and are too lazy to do their jobs. Journalism in America is mostly dead.” On the other hand, another writer pointed out that another poll indicates that 25 percent of Americans believe President Obama was not born in the U.S., a claim made by the birther conspiracy theorists. “So what does that tell us about the 27 percent negative view of journalists?” Another wondered what the “media consumption profile of those 27 percent is?”