WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The Most and Least Trusted News Sources

Aug 10, 2017

MarketWatch reported that a survey by the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri found The Economist is the most trusted news source in the U.S.  Other news organizations that fared well in the survey include NPR, Reuters, the BBC, and The Wall Street Journal.

The survey found the least trusted news source is Occupy Democrats.  Other news sources that are not trusted include Buzzfeed, Breitbart, and social media.  Those who were surveyed also named President Donald Trump as an untrustworthy news source.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton finds it interesting that Americans appear to be looking overseas to find trusted news sources.  She said cable television networks rely too heavily on pundits and talking heads.  She said that makes for cheap programming but not necessarily informative programming.

Crighton also cautioned that survey results should be taken with a grain of salt because surveying is not an exact science.

Panelist Will Buss also finds it interesting that Americans are turning to overseas news sources.  He said there seems to be a lot of point-counterpoint in U.S. media, especially on cable television news. He said it can be unclear what is fact and what is opinion on cable TV.  He said some Americans might be looking for less punditry and more straightforward reporting.

Buss also said a lot of online media has cropped up in the past decade so audiences need to put some thought into how they get their news and make smart choices.

Panelist Rich Egger feels there’s been a shift toward giving the audience what it wants rather than what it needs.  That’s led to too much celebrity journalism and other light-hearted fare in the U.S.

Egger said the survey gauged the trustworthiness of larger news organizations but not local outlets.  He wondered whether audiences still trust local news sources, especially as large, profit-driven media companies such as Sinclair and Gatehouse continue buying up more local newsrooms.

Jasmine Crighton is News Director of NEWS3 at Western Illinois University and Will Buss is the Director of Student Publications at WIU.