The news media have an important role to play in democracy, yet most of the public does not believe that they are fulfilling that role.

Knight Foundation:

More than eight in 10 U.S. adults believe the news media are critical or very important to our democracy. They see the most important roles played by the media as making sure Americans have the knowledge they need to be informed about public affairs and holding leaders accountable for their actions.

At the same time, Americans are more likely to say the media perform these roles poorly than to say they are performing them well.
The public divides evenly on the question of who is primarily responsible for ensuring people have an accurate and politically balanced understanding of the news — 48% say the news media and 48% say individuals themselves.