On ‘fake news’ and media trust

Gallup/Knight Foundation survey asks Americans for their stance

What does “fake news” mean to Americans, and what do they think about the modern media landscape? The 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation Survey on Trust, Media and Democracy sought answers from 19,000 American adults. Here are highlights:

• A majority of Americans consider “fake news” a serious threat to democracy. Most define it is knowingly portraying false information as the truth, but four in 10 Republicans consider accurate stories casting a politician/political group in a negative light to always be “fake news.”

• Only 44 percent of U.S. adults can think of an objective news source, with Republicans overwhelmingly mentioning Fox News and Democrats’ responses varying.

• More Americans view news media negatively (43 percent) than positively (33 percent).

• Media trust is heavily influenced by partisanship: Democrats are largely trusting while Republicans are distrusting. Older Americans tend to view the media more positively than young adults.

• Half of U.S. adults feel confident people can cut through bias to sort out facts, down from 66 percent a generation ago.