Traditional mainstream media -- including TV news outlets and major newspapers -- are losing the credibility war, as one out of three Americans believe they report “fake news.” That’s the top line finding of a survey conducted by Monmouth University in early March.
The poll found that 77% of Americans believe major news outlets report fake news -- up 13 percentage points from when MU asked Americans the same question last year.
Nearly a third (31%) believe mainstream news media report fake news “regularly,” while 46% say they do it “occasionally.” Only 21% said major news media do not report fake news.
“When it comes to the meaning of ‘fake news,’ a majority believe that it involves editorial decisions as well as inaccurate reporting,” the report notes, including 58% who believe the media publishes fake news “on purpose to push an agenda.”
The study also found that most people believe social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube are partly to blame for the spread of fake news and they don’t believe they are doing enough to stop it.
In fact, the vast majority of Americans consider “outside groups or agents” planting fake news in both mainstream media and social media to be a “serious problem.”
Despite the overwhelming perception among Americans that major news outlets report fake news, more Americans trust the major cable news networks (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC) than believe President Donald J. Trump.
Download the full report, including tables and complete methodology, here.