Readers Say: News Providers Are In It Mostly For The Money

Most readers believe news organizations are businesses motivated only by their financial interests and goals, according to American views 2022: Part 1, a study by Gallup and the Knight Foundation. 

Of the individuals polled, 76% believe news providers are in it for the money. Only 12% say they are civic institutions pursuing the public interest.  

Moreover, 62% say news organizations prioritize staying in business over serving the public. 

The feeling that news groups are motivated mostly by business is highest among millennials (70%) versus the overall average of 62%. 

Next are Gen Z (67%) and Gen X (64%). Less likely to feel that way are Baby boomers (56%) and the Silent Generation (42%).  



Republicans are most likely to think news firms lean mostly toward saying in business—78% do, versus 72% of Independents and 46% of Democrats.  

On a qualitative basis, 90% of people with a very unfavorable view of the news media agree that they lean toward staying in business. This view is shared by 76% who have a very unfavorable view. 

In contrast, this idea is supported by only 47% of neutral readers and 35% of those who have a somewhat favorable view, along with 15% of those with a very favorable feeling.  

Meanwhile, 72%  of Americans have never paid directly for news, whether through subscriptions, donations or buying magazines.  

Of those who have paid, subscriptions are the most likely option, followed by donations and memberships. In addition, the 26% who have paid have done so through ongoing subscriptions rather than one-time payments. 

The highest levels of payment have been shown by newspaper readers—50%, followed by people who consume news through radio (35%), online (30%) and TV (16%). 

Gen Z are the least likely to have paid (20% have, but they are almost matched by the Silent Generation, with 21%. Millennials are most likely—30% have paid.  

As to income, people at the highest level are way more likely to have paid:

  • Less than $30K—14%
  • $30K-$50K—20% 
  • $50k-$100K—26%
  • $100K-$150K—27%
  • More than '$150K—47% 

The analysis is based on a Gallup Panel web and mail study conducted between May 31 and July 21, 2022. 

1 comment about "Readers Say: News Providers Are In It Mostly For The Money".
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  1. Francesca Turchiano from InFact., October 24, 2022 at 10:56 a.m.

    An utterly depressing story about our nation that is drowning in made-up stories! 

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