The Guardian, though, reported that there were serious concerns over the polling methods used by Villasenor. Cliff Zukin, a former president of the American Association of Public Opinion Polling, which sets ethical and transparency standards for polling, called the study “malpractice” and “junk science” and claimed that “it should never have appeared in the press.” The Guardian further pointed out that asking students about violence and speech in late August, in the days immediately after neo-Nazis and white supremacists marched through the university town of Charlottesville, Virginia, leading to the murder of one young woman, was guaranteed to skew results.
As Chris Ladd writes for Forbes, “empirical data suggests that free speech is alive and well on campus.” But rather than cover the truth, news outlets cover campus riots because such inflammatory reporting is “irresistible journalistic porn, flaming evidence to buttress our preconceived biases.”
2. College students are more positive than adults about all five First Amendment freedoms.
The stories of these conflicts have dominated the press. In fact, a recent survey showed that 61 percent of U.S. adults and 71 percent of college students report hearing a “great deal” or “fair amount” about the protests. And yet, while just about everyone has heard about the free speech wars on college campuses, what we don’t hear is the fact that the real weak link on the First Amendment is not on college campuses; it’s among older adults, especially uneducated and right-leaning ones.
A Gallup/Knight Foundation poll from April 2016 showed that “college students hold a more optimistic and idealistic view of First Amendment freedoms than U.S. adults do.” That study further showed that 73 percent of students and 56 percent of adults say free speech is secure in the U.S. today and that students are more positive than adults about all five First Amendment freedoms. They also found that adults are less confident than students about free speech protection. 40 percent of adults perceive a decline in free speech rights, compared to 22 percent of college students saying the same.
Source : https://www.alternet.org/activism/college-students-and-first-amendment-what-right-doesnt-want-you-know