A majority of Americans believe the media is "too critical" of Donald Trump, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released on Sunday (26 February).

It also found that Americans are slightly more optimistic about where the country is heading than they were back in 2016, up 40% from 33% in December.

According to the poll, 51% of Americans say news organisations are too critical of the president and 41% believe the media has been fair and objective. A small percentage, just 6%, believe that the media has not been critical enough.

Some 53% found that the media has exaggerated problems in the Trump administration while 45% do not believe the press has sensationalised issues in Trump's White House.

Among respondents who get most of their news from Fox News, 79% agreed with the statement that "the news media and other elites are exaggerating the problems of the Trump administration, because they are uncomfortable and threatened by the kind of change that Trump represents."

Conservative audiences are not the only ones to think this way. A surprising 40% of liberal-leaning MSNBC audiences also agreed the media exaggerated problems in the administration.

Trump has ramped up his attacks on the media, referring to several news organisations as "enemies of the American people." Respondents had both positive and negative reactions to Trump's criticisms.

"I think his views about the press being fake news is horrible and I think it is a fascist viewpoint," one respondent said, according to the Wall Street Journal. Another respondent, meanwhile, said Trump is merely doing what he promised to do during his campaign.

Americans continue to hold an unfavourable opinion of the president, the poll also found, according to The Hill. Some 47% view Trump unfavourably, while 43% view him favourably. The poll found that 48% of Americans disapprove of Trump's job performance, compared to 44% who approve. The poll surveyed 1,000 American adults over the phone on 18-22 February. It has a margin of error of 3.1%.