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Personal politics play a role in the media people trust, and these days even the most receptive news consumers are wary

This report, which blends two surveys from the Media Insight Project, describes journalism’s trust problem through the prism of political affiliation.

This report combines the findings of two surveys by the Media Insight Project. One focuses on subscribing to news; the other on trust in news from “the media” versus trust in the news respondents use most often. Trust is one of several themes addressed in the report, and is woven into the findings through the particular prism of its relationship to political party affiliation.

No one trusts the media much, but Democrats are more likely than Republicans and independents to trust the news from sources they consider reliable “a lot.” The greater skepticism of Republicans and independents includes news sources they pay for (conversely, Democrats are more positively disposed to both paid and unpaid sources of news).

The results also highlight challenges facing the news industry as it tries to build trust and reader revenue with more conservative audiences. For example, only about 4 in 10 Republicans and independents believe the news media they use often are willing to admit their mistakes. About 2 in 10 Republicans and independents mention lack of trust as one of the reasons they do not pay for news.

The distinction between news and opinion is another key area of partisan difference, with Republicans more than twice as likely as Democrats to say they find it hard to distinguish between the two.