A poll finds US news media battles with distrust | WARC | The Feed
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A poll finds US news media battles with distrust
Americans tend to think the news media is more harmful than beneficial to the country, according to a new survey.
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights based their findings on a poll of 1,002 US adults designed to represent the US population.
Why it matters
The problem of media trust is broad and complex, with many people around the world skeptical about the institution. Yet research from the UK shows that, for advertisers, news media lends a halo of trust and perceptions of competence.
But the bigger question is about the funding model for a trusted news media based on attention (often through outrage) to draw in viewers and sell advertising. Some publications have found success balancing the online advertising model with subscriptions – yet this too is imperfect, given the smaller audience and the limitations a paywall places on the dissemination of quality information.
By the numbers
- Almost three-quarters (74%) of US adults agree that the news media increases political polarization.
- Depressingly, 45% of respondents have little to no trust in the fairness or accuracy of news reporting.
- Just 16% exhibit a degree of confidence in the news media’s ability to report the news fully and fairly.
- News on social media is generally treated with skepticism, with around two-thirds saying they expect news stories that reach them through social media to be inaccurate.
- There is some difference based on party allegiance, with 61% of Republicans agreeing that the news media is hurting democracy while only 23% of Democrats and 36% of independents say the same.
“The public recognizes the challenges facing news media, and they are supportive of solutions to address them,” said Jennifer Benz, deputy director of The AP-NORC Center, in a statement.
“The public sees value in investing in civic education and in independent news organizations, strengthening protections for journalists, and increasing diversity in newsrooms.”
Sourced from AP-NORC Center, WARC
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