Poll: News Outlets Are Ranked Most-Polarizing Brands

It’s no secret that distrust of the media is higher than ever today. Across the political spectrum, readers (and viewers) report strong aversion from a range of news brands, and the press itself is under constant attack from the president.

So it may come as no surprise that when Morning Consult, a data tracking and analysis company, carried out its inaugural poll devised to identify the top 30 most polarizing brands among Democrats and Republicans, news outlets were at the top.

In fact, 11 of the top 20 brands ranked were news organizations, including CNN (#2), Fox News (#3) and The New York Times (#5).

The company surveyed 336,370 people across the United States from Oct. 3, 2017 to Jan. 2, 2018, to gauge the public’s opinion on brands, companies and organizations. Beginning with a list of 1,900, the surveys whittled those entities down to 30 to reveal the most polarizing.

The most unfavorable brands among Democrats included Trump Hotels (55%), Fox News (43%) and Fox Business (31%). Meanwhile, Republicans listed CNN (48%), MSNBC (37%) and NBC News (36%) among the least trusted.



Independents were more likely to respond unfavorably to products, with the top three in the survey including Diet Pepsi, Diet Mountain Dew and Red Bull.

Morning Consult used its proprietary Morning Consult Brand Intelligence, which currently tracks 1,006 brands using data collected from over 3 million market research interviews and 100 million social media posts, and by analyzing 85,000 news media outlets to develop a picture of how people digest media across the political sphere.

Though the numbers don’t tell the whole story of how or why people react the way they do to modern news outlets, they do reveal a country heavily divided by where and how they absorb journalism. And though it’s impossible to know how these numbers would have stacked up 10, 20 or 30 years ago, the results offer a telling picture of the work to be done across the board to attract diverse audiences and gain public trust.

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