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Only 6% Rate News Media As Very Trustworthy

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Most voters still get their news from television and consider the news reported by the media generally trustworthy.

Fifty-six percent (56%) of Likely U.S. Voters say they get most of their news from TV, including 32% who get it from cable news networks and 24% who get it from traditional network news. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that another 25% use the Internet as their main source of news, while only 10% still rely on print newspapers. Seven percent (7%) get most of their news from radio. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-six percent (56%) of all voters regard the news reported by the media as at least somewhat trustworthy, but that includes just six percent who think it is Very Trustworthy. Forty-two percent (42%) don’t trust the news media, with 12% who believe the news it reports is Not At All Trustworthy.  

Last September, as the final stretch of the presidential race heated up, 40% of American Adults said the Internet was the best way to get news and information in today’s world, while 37% viewed television that way. Nine percent (9%) rated radio as the best source, and seven percent (7%) chose print newspapers. TV broadcast news was considered the most reliable, followed by the Internet and newspapers.  

Forty-one percent (41%) of voters think the average media reporter is more liberal than they are, down slightly from 46% in June 2011. Unchanged from the earlier survey are the 18% who feel the average reporter is more conservative than they are, while 26% think their views are about the same. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.  

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on February 26-27, 2013 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology

Republicans are most likely to get their news from cable news networks, while Democrats are evenly dependent on both cable and broadcast TV sources the most. Voters not affiliated with either party are most dependent on the Internet, with cable news a close second. 

Seventy-five percent (75%) of voters in the president’s party consider the news reported by the media to be at least somewhat trustworthy, but just 38% of GOP voters and 49% of unaffiliateds agree. 

But then, 69% of Republicans and a plurality (44%) of unaffiliateds view the average reporter as more liberal than they are. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Democrats think they share about the same views as the average reporter, while 30% more say that reporter is more conservative than they are.  

Half (50%) of voters under 40 rely on the Internet for news, while older voters are more likely to turn first to cable news. Younger voters trust the news the media reports more than their elders do. Women trust it more than men.  

Voters in surveys for several years have felt that most reporters try to help President Obama. Only nine percent (9%) thought they were trying to help Mitt Romney during the election. 

Sixty-five percent (65%) of Americans believe the media reports more on negative campaigning than on the issues raised by candidates.

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