Thursday, June 4, 2015

Most Distrusted Name in News?

I was playing with a neat Pew graphic that breaks respondents into one of three generational categories: Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. For fun, use the "distrust" option, and then click on each generational group.

See the consistencies?
  • Rush Limbaugh is the most distrusted of two of the three groups and is second in the other group.
  • Fox News is #2 on those two groups above, but #1 among Millenials in distrust.
  • Glenn Beck holds down #3 for all groups.
  • OK, how about evil liberals? MSNBC is #4 in distrust among Baby Boomers and Generation X, but only #8 among Millenials.
So "conservative" outlets do poorly on distrust. But if you flip it, there's not a mirror image. For example, Fox News may be #2 in distrust among Baby Boomers but it's also, among the same group, #3 in trust. Keep in mind these rankings are mushy given the margins of error involved.

CNN does well, and certain news outlets must look at the Millenial numbers and think they'll be well positioned in coming years. Unfortunately (for them), trust is not the same as audience. Think about it. Fox News kicks CNN's ass in audience while at the same time doing much more poorly in trust/distrust. Being liked is not the same as being, well, watched or read. Some hate you, but some love you -- the essence of a partisan fragmentation.

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