Yes...the media is an easy group to target, and frankly the acts of more than a few have earned the target. You're spot on with your dig into real research and study as that is the ticket. Even the news presented "balanced" requires some digging for the entire story.Ok, let me be more specific. When it comes to news generally I trust the media. When it comes to how they portray certain groups, and when they go on the opinion and analysis, no, I don't. And it doesn't matter which way they trend. In those spectrums their ultimate goal is to attract advertising dollars and get people to tune in or read, so a bit of stereotyping or painting with overly broad strokes to reach the point they want to appeal to the audience they want isn't a big deal.
I find that when I actually dig into real research and study, and especially when I get hands on with those groups, that what's out there is very often quite different than how they are portrayed. That's true of teens, college students, my generation, the homeless, and a number of other groups that if you saw the reality and then saw what's said about them in media, you'd wonder if they were even on the same planet sometimes. (and yes, I work directly with all of those groups through my work- my real job, not the YouTube bit)