Social Media, Local TV News Are Top COVID-19 Information Sources, Trust Issues Remain

Social media --  just ahead of local TV news -- is the place U.S. consumers are turning to for local information on COVID-19, according to a survey from Magid -- however, trust issues remain.

The consumer researcher says social media -- which includes Facebook, Twitter -- pulled in 34% number; local TV newscasts, 33%; with national newscast (ABC, NBC, CBS), 28%. National cable TV networks (CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC) are at 20%. Results hear tally multiple overall mentions of news sources for the story.

Social media tallies a low consumer “trust” score of 21%.

Top trust numbers show The Wall Street Journal as the highest -- at 47%, followed by The New York Times at 44%; cable TV websites; 42%; The Washington Post, 42%; and local TV newscasts; 40%; network TV newscasts, 40% and cable TV newscasts, 39%.

With regard to local TV, Magid says: “While still a major source, we are not seeing the 'lift' for broadcast typically connected to a major story.” Magid say local TV stations “need to refocus coverage.”



Data shows 70% of consumers think news brands are “contributing to the panic, and local TV doesn’t escape blame.”

Research also says nearly 70% of people 18-69 are “very concerned about the pandemic.” Politically, this breaks down to 78% who identify themselves as Democrat and 64% who identify as Republican.

In addition, 61% of consumers say news organizations are “are making the story to be bigger than it is,” while 46% say news organizations have been covering the story too much.

The recent Magid consumer study was conducted with more than 1,200 people.

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