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In a year filled with major news stories – from impeachment to a contentious election, from a global pandemic to nationwide protests over racial injustice – Americans continue to have a complicated relationship with the news media. While large swaths of the public often express negative views toward journalists and news organizations, a major Pew Research Center analysis – culminating a yearlong study on Americans' views of the news media – also finds areas where U.S. adults feel more affinity toward the media and express open-mindedness about the possibility that their trust in the industry could improve.
In today's fast-paced and complex information environment, news consumers must make rapid-fire judgments about how to internalize news-related statements – statements that often come in snippets and through pathways that provide little context. A new Pew Research Center survey of 5,035 U.S. adults examines a basic step in that process: whether members of the public can recognize news as factual – something that's capable of being proved or disproved by objective evidence – or as an opinion that reflects the beliefs and values of whoever expressed it.
According to a new Pew Research Center survey, 94% of Americans say they have heard about the current state of the relationship between the Trump administration and the news media. And what they've seen does not reassure them: Large majorities feel the relationship is unhealthy and that the ongoing tensions are impeding Americans' access to important political news. Moreover, both of these concerns are widely shared across nearly all demographic groups, including large majorities of both Democrats and Republicans.
When it comes to getting news about politics and government, those with consistent liberal or conservative views have information streams that are distinct from individuals with mixed political views -- and very distinct from each other, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. The MacArthur-supported research examines the media habits of those at the furthest left and right of the political spectrum, who together comprise about 20 percent of the American public. It finds consistent conservatives tend to trust and rely on a single news source more than others: Fox News. Conservatives are also more likely to distrust other news sources, and more likely to have friends who share their own political views. Consistent liberals, by contrast, rely on a greater range of news outlets, tend to trust more news outlets, and are more likely to block someone on a social network -- as well as end a friendship -- because of politics.