Industries in Depth

Here's what Americans think of news organizations

Just 23% think national news organizations care about the best interests of their readers, viewers and listeners.

Just 23% think national news organizations care about the best interests of their readers, viewers and listeners. Image: Pexels/Ono Kosuki

Anna Fleck
Data Journalist, Statista
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United States

  • More than 50% of respondents to a US survey believes that national news misleads or misinforms people.
  • Just 23% think national news organizations care about the best interests of their readers, viewers and listeners.
  • But there is a slightly more favourable view of local news outlets, which are seen as being more likely to care about the people the stories impact.

Half of U.S. respondents disagree with the statement that national news organizations do not intend to mislead, misinform, or persuade the public, according to a new report by Gallup and Knight Foundation. This is in contrast to only 25 percent who hold a more optimistic view.

As our chart shows, when it comes to national news organizations, a fair share of the U.S. public feels skeptical at best. The survey found that only 23 percent of respondents thought national news organizations care about the best interests of their readers, viewers, and listeners, while 35 percent believe they care about the impact their reporting has on society as a whole.

U.S. adults have a slightly more favorable view of local news outlets though, with only 25 percent of respondents disagreeing that local papers and stations do not intend to mislead, misinform, or persuade the public, while 53 percent agreed that local news organizations care about the impact of their reporting on the community. One focus group participant said this is partly due to the fact that local organizations know the area personally and so they are more likely to understand any nuances and to care more about the people the stories impact.

In terms of funding, respondents thought that both kinds of news organizations have the resources and opportunities to report the news accurately and fairly to the public. 72 percent of people agreed with this statement with regard to national news organizations, and 65 percent agreed in terms of local organizations.

When it comes to national news organizations, a fair share of the U.S. public feels skeptical at best.
When it comes to national news organizations, a fair share of the U.S. public feels skeptical at best. Image: Statista.
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