Report: 51% of Americans Get their News from Social Media, but Don’t Trust It


If you feel a little silly getting most of your daily news on Facebook and Twitter, take comfort in the fact that you're not alone. The Media Insight Project, carried out by the Associated Press-NORC and the American Press Institute, discovered that 51 percent of Americans get their news from social media. A report encompassing their findings was released on April 17.

This isn't to say that websites like Facebook are reigning supreme in terms of reliability - less than one-quarter of individuals who said they rely on social media for news claimed that they trusted the sources.

"How much these social media news consumers trust a given item depends on several factors," wrote the authors of the report. "The most important of these, people say, is the original news organization that produced the content."

But exactly how much does the public trust news from the press?

As it turns out, Americans aren't exactly keen on the stories they get from the press, either. About 41 percent of respondents said that they have "hardly any confidence" in the press, while 52 percent claimed they only have "some" confidence. In comparison, only Congress had less supporters, with 50 percent of Americans stating that they had "hardly any confidence" in it.

"Those with low confidence in the press overall are much more likely than others to say they have had a negative experience with a news source that has made them trust it less," wrote the authors of the report.

So what weighs heavy in the hearts of Americans who get their news from the press?

About 26 percent said that biased reporting has made them trust a news source less. Nearly 25 percent claimed that they discovered facts were wrong, undermining their confidence in a particular news source. Offensive content, annoying advertisements and poor accessibility have also turned off American news consumers. 

Statistics in the report show that there may still be time for the press to change Americans' attitudes about the news. About 60 percent say that keeping with the news is "very" or "extremely" important to them. Approximately 80 percent stated that they watch, read, or hear the news at least once a day.

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