Many Americans don’t trust the news media. Fewer than half can name a news source they consider objective. But there must be some news sources that Americans trust, right?
Answering that question isn’t as easy as it seems. But we’re going to tackle it below. So, read on and find out what America’s most trusted news source is.
The State of American News Media
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that the last couple of years have been a troubling time for America’s faith in journalism. President Donald Trump has continuously vilified many of the mainstream news outlets, shouting accusations of “fake news” and casting doubt on their neutrality. And he’s described the entire field of journalism as “the enemy of the people.”
Even before President Trump took center stage, Americans’ trust in the news media was waning. In September of 2016, only 32% of Americans had confidence in the news media.
But who needs traditional news media when they have the internet, right? Well, 58% of Americans say the plethora of sources available online has actually made it even harder to stay informed. It seems there’s no way out.
The free press is supposed to be a guiding light for the masses. Most of us don’t have the time or resources to keep a watchful eye on the political and economic establishment. For that, we turn to the news media.
This relationship between the people and the press is one of the bedrocks of democracy. We’d be lost without it. And we may be losing it.
But if you take a closer look, the story is a bit more interesting.
Political Orientation and Trust in the Media
The numbers become more interesting if you look at them by political orientation. In recent months, trust in the media has actually begun to creep back up again. Why? Because Democrats trust the news media more than ever.
74% of Democrats say they have at least a fair amount of confidence in the news media. They see it as a necessary protection against the potential evils and excesses of the Trump Presidency.
On the other hand, only 19% of Republicans, have at least a fair amount of confidence in the news media. Trump’s anti-media rhetoric has, apparently, taken its toll.
So, who do Democrats turn to when they want the truth? How about the Republicans?
Most Americans still get their news from their television. So let’s look at which channels Republicans and Democrats trust the most.
Fox News: Republicans’ Most Trusted Cable News Source
At first glance, Fox News doesn’t seem like a trusted news source. Only 24% of Americans say its objective. But almost all of those 24% are Republicans, and in fact, 60% of Republicans consider Fox News to be an objective source.
The channel is a part of Rupert Murdoch’s multinational media empire, 21st Century Fox. He founded the channel in 1996 with the help of Roger Ailes, who would become the first CEO of Fox News.
Roger Ailes was a media expert and Republican Party media consultant. So, from the beginning, Fox News’s political orientation was clear.
CNN: Democrats’ Most Trusted Cable News Source
It’s almost a cliche. Trump’s whipping boy, CNN, is the cables news source most trusted by Democrats.
But you shouldn’t think of CNN as a “Democrat’s Fox News.” CNN doesn’t get nearly the respect from Democrats that Fox News does from Republicans. Only 32% of Democrats consider it a trustworthy source.
It’s a strange result given that Democrats claim to trust the media more than Republicans.
Part of the answer lies in the fact that Democrats (and Americans in general) trust the abstract concept of “the media” more than they trust individual news sources. They recognize how important the media is to a functioning Democracy; they just don’t like CNN or MSNBC.
Furthermore, there could be other news sources we haven’t talked about yet that Americans trust more.
Finding America’s Most Trusted News Source
To find America’s most trusted news sources, we’ll have to look beyond television.
But with so many print and online news outlets, it’s hard to pinpoint which ones people trust the most.
One approach is to look to media watchdogs such as Trust Dale reviews. Watchdogs provide valuable information about which outlets you can trust and which ones you can’t. But they won’t tell you which outlet is the most trusted.
Recently, the University of Missouri Journalism Institute attempted to answer this question. They conducted a study in which they asked over 8,000 news consumers to name three sources they trusted and three they didn’t.
What did the study find? It found that the Economist is the #1 most trusted news source in the United States. And Reuters, the BBC, and NPR follow close behind.
On the other end, Occupy Democrats is the least trusted source, followed by Buzzfeed, Breitbart, and Infowars.
The most trusted sources are relatively centrist, while the least trusted are more partisan. Does that mean that neutral sources are more trustworthy? Maybe. But it could also mean that neutral sources are less likely to be criticized by partisan survey respondents.
In the end, it’s difficult to ascertain the true trustworthiness of something as inherently political as a news outlet. It’s easy to be blinded by preconceived notions.
The best thing to do is to take everything with a grain of salt and research all your sources.
Be a Diligent News Consumer
When encountering a new source, use a watchdog to investigate it, and read about the organizations and people who work there. Always be skeptical.
The Florida Independent is a great source of trustworthy news for these hectic times. So, if you found this article informative, be sure to check out the rest of our great content. We write about health and fitness, the latest trends in technology, and much more.