A resource for news innovators to learn, plan & do.
Complexity: Advanced
Article Complexity Bar Graph

Race and political orientation can affect trust in journalism

A survey conducted with the audiences of more than two dozen newsrooms found greater trust in journalism among more liberal respondents and also among white respondents.

As part of the Trusting News Project at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, 28 partner newsrooms asked their audiences to tell them about their views on the credibility of news. These newsrooms published a questionnaire asking their readers, listeners and viewers about their demographics and political leanings, as well as their attitudes about news. The report also includes a detailed explanation of the approach to the analysis (complete with charts, graphs, maps and equations) as well as listing news sources and news distribution channels mentioned by those surveyed as both trusted and not trusted.

As we expected, people who rated themselves likely or very likely to trust the news were more willing to fill out journalists’ questionnaires than people who don’t trust the news. They account for 67.3 percent of responses. The other 32.7 percent people unlikely or very unlikely to trust the news perhaps have even more to teach us.

Patterns regarding trust — and willingness to pay for news — emerged with politics and race:

  • Liberal respondents are more likely to both trust and pay for the news than conservative respondents.
  • White respondents are more likely to both trust and pay for the news than nonwhite respondents.