The most ardent conservatives overwhelmingly favor Fox News as a trusted source of information, while the strongest liberals tend to place their faith in a broader array of news outlets , but not in one over others, according to a new study on media habits by Pew Research Center.
Pew found that 47% of a group it calls “consistent conservatives” cite Fox News as its main source for news about government and politics, and that 88% of that group trust Fox News, even though they expressed stronger distrust than trust in 24 of the 36 news sources mentioned in Pew’s survey. People who are “consistent liberals,” on the other hand, appear less unified in their media loyalty, with 15% of them citing CNN, 13% citing NPR and 12% citing MSNBC as their main source of news about government and politics. They also tend to trust more than distrust 28 of the 36 news outlets mentioned in Pew’s research.
Pew’s findings, which rely on the responses of that portion of a 10,000-person panel with online access – approximately 88%, Pew said – come as the increased polarization of political views appears to have affected many national issues and areas of debate. Pew said people from the left and right ends fo the political-belief spectrum comprise about 20% of the overall public, but tend to have a greater impact on the political process than those with more mixed ideologies.” That those who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions have different ways of informing themselves about politics and government is not surprising,” Pew said in its study, released Tuesday. “But the depth of these divisions – and the differences between those who have strong ideological views and those who do not – are striking.”
Among respondents with mixed ideological views, CNN (20%) and local TV (16%) were deemed top sources, Pew said, with Fox News (8%), Yahoo News (7%) and Google News (6%) rounding out the list.
Overall, The Wall Street Journal was found to be the news source trusted most by people from all political ideologies, followed by The Economist, BBC and Google News. BuzzFeed was trusted the least by people of all stripes, according to Pew.