One notes that bylines [in coverge] tend to belong to science writers. Science writers can hope to cover science itself with a semblance of objective dispassion. But they have an inbuilt conflict of interest when the topic is the standing and penetration of science as a way to reach conclusions. Imagine the difference in coverage were a survey showing that the public thinks Shakespeare plays are outdated stuffy nonsense were reported by theatre critics, or alternately by hockey writers or stock analysts. One wonders - would the stories on this survey be much different if handed over to the closest science-phobic, ex-English-major political or general assignment reporter?
Which goes to suggest that a great follow up and parallel to this latest Pew survey would be to do a survey of journalists on their perceptions of science and its relationship to society. You might as well throw in Congressional staffers too. Sounds like a worthy grant proposal. ;-)