George Washington University recently conducted a survey about how people communicate with Capitol Hill, providing “a glimpse into the intersection of federal public policy and advocacy.” Among the various findings is an interesting tidbit about how Hill staffers view the media influence. More specifically, they view it has having a lot of influence.
Via the study:
Ninety-five percent of congressional staff members believe that political bias in the media influences or shapes decision-making in Congress. Seventy-five percent of Republican Hill staff believes there is “a lot” of bias compared to 53 percent of Democratic staff. Forty-one percent of Democratic staff says there is “some” bias compared with 24 percent of Republicans.
A high percentage, indeed. The study’s respondents also said money and lobbying are less influential in gaining access to members of Congress.
“It appears that both money and a powerful lobbying ‘brand’ name matter less to members of Congress and their staff than providing reliable, consistent information,” said Professor David Rehr, who conducted the study. “Congress is eager to receive helpful information from all sources to make thoughtful decisions and that provides a real opportunity for citizens or professional lobbyists to influence the direction of national policy.”
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