August 30, 2012
Public trust in the press has declined and digital platforms have opened publishing to anyone with a desire to speak, but more than 60 percent of U.S. adults still say they prefer news stories produced by professional journalists, according to survey data from the Reynolds Journalism Institute. More than 70 percent agree that professional journalists play an important role in our society.
As Poynter.org reports, those surveyed disagree with the social media argument that news should come through trusted friends, and with the idea that it doesn’t matter who produces the news. The findings are good news for professional journalists, even though the public doesn’t seem happy with how those journalists are doing their jobs. Only about 37 percent of respondents said they trust the mainstream media. Trust was higher among women and people who get their TV news from major networks like ABC, CBS and NBC.
The data is part of a large research project examining the impact of mobile devices on news consumption. Mobile users were found to have about the same overall levels of confidence in professional journalism — and the same distrust of mainstream media — as those who receive news through other platforms. Fewer than a quarter of respondents, mobile users or not, said they are willing to pay extra for news without ads. — Greg Beaubien