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Media's Katrina Coverage — Not Terrible

There's more evidence that even Hurricane Katrina wasn't powerful enough to blow away the nation's political divide. A CBS News poll conducted last week included a question about the media's coverage. Here's the question and results:

How would you rate the way the news media have been covering Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath — have they done an excellent job, a good job, a fair job or a poor job covering it?

All GOP Dem Ind
Excellent 41% 33% 53% 36%
Good 36 35 31 41
Fair 15 22 10 15
Poor 6 7 3 7
DK/NA 2 2 2 2

The same poll gave public officials across the board poor marks on preparing for and responding to Katrina, with Republicans more critical of state and local officials and Democrats more critical of the federal government. The media's well-documented performance focused heavily on the federal response, especially in the early days of the aftermath.

So it's not surprising that Democrats are more disposed to give the media high marks for its coverage. But it is noteworthy that even among Republicans, 68% found the coverage excellent or good while just 21% called it fair or poor.

Methodology: The poll surveyed 725 adults between Sept. 6 and 7. The party identification breakdown is: 28% GOP, 34% Dem and 38% Independent. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 4%.