America's Most Trusted Newspaper Brands

The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal tied as No. 1 among 15 major daily newspapers analyzed as part of the Media Trust Tracker, a collaboration of Brand Keys and MediaPost’s Research Intelligencer, which measures how much a user’s trust contributes to their engagement with the brand.

Interestingly, the contribution of trust among the major daily newspapers was relatively high, with a narrow margin of difference (between 80% and 88%), vs. an analysis we published in July of the major television news brands (which ranged 58% to 90%).

“Trust” in one’s newspaper (print, website and/or mobile app) accounts for 41% of newspaper brand engagement overall. The remaining 59% is accounted for via attributes and values addressing “entertainment listings and sports,” “an ability to educate and inform via news reporting, columnists, and editorial,” and providing insights into the “economy and local events and markets.”

Three thousand eight hundred six (3,806) subscribers (paper & digital) and/or “regular newsreaders” – via digital or app, 3+ times a week – evaluated their newspaper brand-of-choice. The Brand Keys Emotional Engagement Analysis determined how much the single value of trust the brands engendered among readers. The survey identified the following, with + 5% indicating significant differences at the 95% confidence level, and an evenhanded spectrum of liberal, moderate, and conservative dispositions.


Since President Trump has labeled The New York Times as “failing,” and virtually every other news platform as “fake news” and “the enemy of the people,” Brand Keys also measured how much “trust” newspaper readers had in the President, versus the newspaper brands themselves.

Mr. Trump was rated an overall 24%, five percentage points lower than TV news viewers rated him, 64% lower than The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, and 60% lover than The Chicago Tribune and New York Post, which both fell mid-range when it came to the percent-contribution trust engendered among newspaper readers.

Examined by political affiliation among newspaper readers, Democrats rated Mr. Trump 9%, Independents 16%, and Republicans 29%. Eighteen percent (18%) of the sample had “No Opinion” -- the same percentage reported for TV viewers.

The next wave of the Brand Keys Media Trust Tracker will visit “online” Platforms.

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