Wednesday, January 27, 2010

America's Most Trusted Name in News -- Fox News?

A survey reports that Fox News is the most trusted of the television news sources.
Our newest survey looking at perceptions of ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, and NBC News finds Fox as the only one that more people say they trust than distrust. 49% say they trust it to 37% who do not.
Not sure why MSNBC is excluded.  Or PBS.  Or Comedy Central with Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert.

For years CNN has run that "most trusted name in news" tagline so now I have to wonder whether they'll rethink it based on this survey.

But, the methodology says:
PPP conducted a national survey of 1,151 registered voters on January 18th and 19th. The survey’s margin of error is +/-2.8%. Other factors, such as refusal to be interviewed and weighting, may introduce additional error that is more difficult to quantify.
Not sure why you'd want registered voters when asking about trust in news, since many people watch the news who are not registered voters.  Curious, or not so curious, given how "registered" voters tend to skew a bit toward more of a Fox News demographic.  Even so, in fairness, Fox is kicking butt so given its audience size you'd expect it to win this contest.  A better way would be to collapse all three broadcast networks and see how they stack up.

The actual news release, in annoying pdf format, is here. It's an automated poll, as you can see if you scroll down the pdf file I listed above, so the findings may unravel in a more traditional, systematic survey.  Also you find some interesting crosstabs.  Key points I found:
  • CNN wins among moderates.  It also does better among women than men, but Fox beats 'em with both categories.
  • Fox beats CNN among whites but not in any other racial/ethnic category.
  • In the major age groups, Fox beats CNN among 18-29 year olds and 46-55 year olds, but CNN wins among those in the middle group (excluding here the major networks).
JUST ADDED -- a really good analysis of this poll by the ABC polling guy, Gary Langer, is here.  Worth the read.  He raises all kinds of points I wish I'd thought of, damn it.

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