poll2Which news outlets do you trust to bring you the news? Since we’re asking that on a news, commentary, and culture website, we can assume that many of the USHerald’s readers actively seek out trustworthy online sources for their news, with hundreds of sites available for perusal.

For people who still look to television for their news, there are only a handful of network news shows available. A recent survey has offered some insight into what the consumers of these channels think of them.

The survey, conducted by Quinnipiac University asked the simple question, Whose news coverage do you trust the most? The poll, which questioned over 1,200 registered voters nationwide, gave participants six choices, and the answers, starting from least trustworthy, were MSNBC at 7%, ABC at 8%, CBS and NBC next, tied at 10%, and followed by CNN at 22%, leaving in first place Fox News at 29%.

Though denigrated by all other media organs, Fox News is celebrated as the most trustworthy by viewers.

The survey went on to confirm that Fox’s viewership is overwhelmingly conservative and republican, with liberals avoiding the channel the way vampires avoid the sun. Meanwhile, the viewership of CNN and even of MSNBC (to the extent MSNBC has an audience at all) is surprisingly heterodox.

These findings seem to confirm that conservatives aren't afraid of crossing over and peeking in on an alternative view of the world. Although of course conservatives could be watching MSNBC purely for entertainment value.

And on the broader question of whether television news is more trustworthy today than it was in the “Golden Age” of TV news under Walter Cronkite, only 7% of the respondents said yes. Yet even with these results, a surprising number of viewers were forgiving of Brian Williams, the marquee player in the field who was revealed to be an utterly untrustworthy serial fabulist. Oddly, 42% of viewers thought he should be given another chance. Either we Americans are a forgiving lot, or this particular segment of the population doesn’t want the actual news so much as some reassuring bedtime stories, told by someone with chiseled features and a rich baritone voice.

As for the future, we can all read faster than Brian Williams can recite from a prompter, and gathering news online allows us to follow links, judge alternative sources, ferret out what is true, and do so at a deeper level that can ever be possible watching television.

But for those who retain the habit of using the TV for this purpose,  it is clear that Fox, through its scrupulous journalism and by truly allowing both sides a voice, is the network that viewers have deemed the most trustworthy.



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