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Trust or no, the vast majority of the public still follows the news, and therein lies opportunity

Americans are still very much consumers of news, but their trust levels have plummeted, with the degree of mistrust varying along the lines of political ideology.

Chapter two of this extensive study on the state of the modern news consumer is devoted to trust and accuracy. The report is worth reviewing in its entirety, with the introduction noting that more than seven-in-10 U.S. adults “follow national and local news somewhat or very closely.” The chapter on trust finds:

  • Only about two-in-ten Americans (22%) trust the information they get from local news organizations a lot, whether online or offline, and 18% say the same of national organizations
  • Three-quarters of Americans think that news organizations keep political leaders in check – preventing them from doing things that they shouldn’t be doing.
  • But about the same portion (74%) say that news organizations tend to favor one side – including 75% of those who say the media prevents leaders from doing things they shouldn’t.
  • Earlier research asked about trust of individual news organizations. Of the 36 sources asked about trust in our 2014 survey, 28 of them were trusted more than distrusted by respondents who expressed consistently liberal political views across a range of questions about political values; 24 of them were distrusted more than trusted by consistent conservatives.