Viewers Trust Local TV Most

WatchingTVIn a continuing era of declining trust in news, local TV news content is generally more believable to consumers than other TV news operations -- broadcast networks, cable networks, print and radio.

The Pew Research Center said local TV news operations scored a 65% positive number with a 35% negative number.

This comes as part of an overall study on news. Pew notes that across 13 major news organizations, the average positive believability has been falling and is at a 56% rating versus 62% a year ago. A decade ago, in 2002, the average rating for the news organizations tested was 71%.

Pew says since 2002, every news outlet’s believability rating has suffered a double-digit drop, except for local daily newspapers and local TV news.

After local TV news, CBS' "60 Minutes" gets a 64% positive score. ABC News is next at 59% -- the best overall network news operations. The Wall Street Journal registers best in the print category, at 58%. It is tied with CNN at 58%. CBS News comes next at 57%. Daily newspapers are tied with CBS at the 57% level.

The three major cable news organizations have witnessed declines in believability in two years: CNN, down three points to 58%; Fox, off four points to 49%; and MSNBC down 10 points to 50%.

As with other news organizations, cable news networks are down substantially from a decade ago: CNN, 76%; MSNBC, 73%, and Fox News, 67%.

Local TV, however, has generally been able to retain its high score versus a decade ago. It had a 68% number in 2002.

The three major TV networks -- ABC News, CBS News and NBC News -- have fallen during the past decade, positive ratings for all three have fallen from the low 70s to the mid-to high 50s.

Some news organizations are still a mystery to the public: Roughly one-in-five polled are unable to rate the believability of NPR (21%), The New York Times (19%), The Wall Street Journal (19%) and USA Today (17%).

Photo illustration by Shutterstock

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1 comment about "Viewers Trust Local TV Most".
  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston , August 20, 2012 at 7:44 a.m.
    Oddly, it's the same local news on TV that's in the newspaper, oftentimes lifted and rewritten from the newspaper. The visual impact and the personal connection with the news reader makes it more trustworthy, but the news itself is either identical or less-focused on TV than in print. It seems easier to trust a smiling face than words on a page or screen.