Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pew report "Americans’ Attitudes About the News Media Deeply Divided Along Partisan Lines" @pewresearch

A new report from the Pew Internet Center investigates Americans' (in the USA) attitudes to news media. "Democrats and Republicans, who already tend to place their trust in different news sources and rely on different outlets for political news, now disagree more than ever on a fundamental issue of the news media’s role in society: whether news organizations’ criticism of political leaders primarily keeps them from doing things they shouldn’t – or keeps them from doing their job." "Pew Research Center has asked this question since 1985. While Republicans have been more likely to support a watchdog role during Democratic presidencies and vice versa, the distance between the parties has never approached the 47-point gap that exists today. The widest gap up to now occurred during the George W. Bush administration, when Democrats were 28 points more likely than Republicans to support a watchdog role."
Other trends are increasing use of mobile for news and that "Fifteen percent of Americans have a lot of trust in news that comes to them from friends and family (slightly lower than the trust levels for local and national news organizations), and 16% of online news consumers often get news there from people close to them (about a third as many as do so from news organizations)."
There is also interesting data on what criteria people use to judge trustworthiness of news stories "About half of U.S. adults say the sources the story cites (51%) and the story’s publisher (48%) have “a large impact” on trust. Three-in-ten say their gut instinct about the story has a large impact, while about a quarter (26%) say they look to the person who shared the story as a major factor in determining whether they trust it."
Pew have a "nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults who participate via monthly self-administered web surveys" Data for this survey was gethered in March 2017 from 4,151 respondents. Information and the full report at
Photo by Sheila Webber: celemtis, may 2017

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