Americans Put Their Trust in Media—Some Outlets More Than Others

Majority of Americans Trust the Media, Including Online Sites: No longer relegated to trusting the accuracy of their one daily newspaper or watching Walter Cronkite, today the public has a plethora of ways to catch the news. But do people trust online news sites, cable TV outlets, blogs and the like as much as they trusted Cronkite back in the 1960s and ’70s? Yes, according to a Harris Poll taken in Jan. 2012.

Looking at trust in general, majorities of Americans (between 60% and 73%) say they trust seven different media outlets to get them news fairly and accurately—including nightly broadcast news and local papers. But the difference is in just how much trust they have in specific outlets. Further findings include:

  • Three in 10 Americans say that ABC (63%), NBC (63%), CNN (61%), the Associated Press (59%) and PBS (59%) all provide news that is fair and unbiased all the time or occasionally. But, like with the media in general, the public leans toward “occasionally,” rather than all the time, as three in five say PBS is fair and unbiased all the time, while just one in five says the same for the other four media outlets.

  • Over half of U.S. adults say Fox News, (54%), Yahoo News (53%), MSNBC (52%) and CNBC (52%) provide fair and unbiased news all the time or occasionally, and half say the same about The Wall Street Journal (50%) and Time (50%).

  • Just under half say The New York Times (48%) and Reuters (48%) provide news that is fair and unbiased; about two in five say the same about the Washington Post (42%), NPR (41%), Newsweek/The Daily Beast (39%) and one third about the Huffington Post (33%). Democrats are more likely than

  • Republicans to think that 15 news providers are giving them news that is fair and unbiased. Republicans are only more likely than Democrats to think that about two news providers—Fox News (75% vs. 39%) and The Wall Street Journal (51% vs. 50%).


Source: Harris Interactive 

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