Who do you trust? Poll reveals attitudes toward TV news

tv-clipartHalf of you still trust NBC News, even after hearing that Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is more raconteur than newsman. The other half don’t, but those of you in this group might not trust the news in general.

We can glean that from a new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, which registers the trust/untrust factor for NBC News at 40 percent in each direction. A year ago, PPP had 39 percent of those surveyed saying they trusted NBC News, and 39 percent saying they didn’t.

In the wake of the suspension of Williams for six months for embellishments, the public is divided on whether or not he should be returned at the end of his forced time away – 39 percent saying yes, 36 percent saying he should be fired.

Self-identified Republicans are more likely (45 percent) to be part of the latter group than Democrats (24 percent).

The good news for Williams, if you can call it that, is at least people know who he is. The name recognition for competing network news anchors (Scott Pelley, David Muir) is in the 40 percent range, reflecting shifts in how we consume news as much as anything.

Not surprisingly, Fox News is both the most trusted and most distrusted news network – 32 percent saying they trust FNC the most, and 30 percent saying they distrust it the most. Republicans watch Fox (56 percent list FNC as most trusted), while Democrats get their news from a variety of sources (CNN is tops at 21 percent).

Bad news for the “liberal news channel,” MSNBC – nearly twice as many Democrats list Fox News as their most trusted source (11 percent) than list MSNBC (6 percent).

More online: www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2015/02/americans-divided-on-williams-return.html.