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U.S. voters hold mixed views on news media trustworthiness, says poll

On the continuum of trustworthiness, likely voters say the U.S. news media is OK, but not great.

That’s the bottom line of a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey released Feb. 28. The poll also found that most voters continue to get their news from television.

In terms of being trustworthy, 56 percent of respondents said the media are at least somewhat trustworthy, the poll found; however, 42 percent said they don’t trust in the media and 12 percent said they believed the news that gets reported is “Not At All Trustworthy.” Of those who have some trust in the news reported by the media, only 6 percent said the media are “Very Trustworthy.”

The survey also asked respondents about liberal vs. conservative bias among reporters. The results showed 41 percent said the average reporter is more liberal than they are. Eighteen percent said they feel the average reporter is more conservative than they are. Those who said they felt the leanings of the average reporter are similar to their own stood at 26 percent, and 15 percent said they didn’t know.

The poll also asked respondents about their sources of news. Television continued to lead with 56 percent saying most of their news comes from TV. That figure includes 32 percent who cited cable news and 24 percent who identified broadcast network news as their top source. The Internet was cited by 25 percent as their main news source. Ten percent chose print newspapers and 7 percent radio as their top news source.

The poll was conducted Feb. 26-27 by Rasmussen Reports. One thousand likely voters were contacted. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percent with a 95 percent confidence level.