Indeed, more than half (51%) of tech industry professionals “somewhat agree” or “strongly agree” with the statement that “President Trump has a point when it comes to the media producing fake news.” A separate survey conducted by BuzzFeed News, of 1,000 Americans representing the national population, found that only 42% somewhat or strongly agree with that statement.*
This finding puts in new context Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s much-publicized desire to build a site for tracking journalists’ credibility — a campaign many dismissed as eccentric grandstanding but which appears to arise from a pervasive sentiment in the industry, one that appears to be stronger than in the country at large. Older employees (over 55), employees of larger tech companies, and employees of companies with over $1 billion in revenue were more likely to have a negative opinion of the media than younger employees (18-49), employees of smaller companies, and employees of companies with less than $1 billion in revenue. In addition, women in the tech industry are less likely to hold a positive opinion of the media than their male counterparts.
Tech workers’ mistrust of the press seems to stem from several sources, one of which is the perception of identity-based bias in the media’s coverage of tech companies.
Nearly 4 in 10 of tech workers (38%) and nearly half of men in the industry (45%) surveyed believe “the media has become too feminist.” (A separate survey conducted by BuzzFeed News* found that the national percentage of people who believe the media has become “too feminist” is 39%.) Over the past several years, dozens of stories have focused on the relative dearth of women working in the industry — specifically in technical jobs — and the difficulties faced by the women who work in tech.
Related: The state of journalism: 2018.