Please verify

Watch LIVE

Liberals Will Unfriend You for Disagreeing With Them, and Six Other Things Revealed in Huge Study About How Americans See the News


Liberals trust almost everything, conservatives trust almost nothing — but they both tend to trust the Brits?

Image via Shutterstock

If you have friends whose politics are on the other side of the political spectrum from your own, they probably don't get their news from the same places you do.

They might not even think what you watch or read counts as "news" at all.

The Pew Research Center released a massive study on media and politics Tuesday, and the findings revealed plenty about how liberals, conservatives and those in between read and watch the news — and whether they trust what they're seeing. It also reveals some great news for TheBlaze.

Image via Shutterstock Image via Shutterstock

Not only do liberals and conservatives tend to turn to different news outlets, but many liberals haven't even heard of some of the news sources that conservatives love, and vice versa.

Here are seven things the Pew report revealed.

Image via Pew Research Center Image via Pew Research Center

1. Conservatives are more distrustful of media in general.

It seems conservatives tend to cluster around a few trusted sources, while liberals freely trust a broad swath of the media.

When asked about the 36 news sources Pew included in the study, consistent conservatives were more likely to distrust than trust 24 of those sources.

2. Liberals are more trusting, especially of government-sponsored outlets.

Most consistent liberals trusted 28 of the 36 news outlets, only distrusting such commentators as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and such websites as the Drudge Report.

While consistent conservatives were skeptical of government-funded news outlets, consistent liberals expressed broad trust for NPR, PBS and the U.K. government-sponsored BBC.

3. Fox News is the leading source of news for conservatives, bar none.

A full 47 percent of consistent conservatives said Fox News was their main source of information on current events, and 88 percent of consistent conservatives said they trusted the outlet.

Across all of the people who participated in Pew's study, 93 percent said they had heard of Fox News, and public perception of the outlet was heavily split: 47 percent of the respondents who had heard of Fox News trusted the outlet, and 40 percent distrusted it.

4. Liberals are more likely to unfriend you on Facebook.

Image via Pew Research Center Image via Pew Research Center

Ever get into a political debate on social media and then, the next day, find your friend list has shrunk? It seems unfriending folks is a distinctly liberal tactic.

Nearly 1/4 of consistent liberals said they had cut someone out of their lives due to politics — though on the flip side, conservatives were more likely to have a Facebook friend list full of people who shared their views.

5. People whose views are firmly left or firmly right tend to drive discussions.

Consistent liberals and consistent conservatives were more likely to take the lead in political debates on social media, while those in the middle tended to just observe or follow.

6. Only one outlet was trusted by liberals and conservatives alike.

The Wall Street Journal is apparently the most broadly trusted news source in the nation, with majorities of liberals, conservatives and those in between saying they trust the newspaper.

Google News was the only other American news source that didn't have a major chunk of Pew's respondents distrust it, while three British outlets — the Economist, the Guardian and the BBC — registered broad trust across the American population.

7. Despite a changing media landscape, Fox News and CNN are still on top — sort of.

Despite the dozens of new ways to get information that have sprung up over the past decade, two cable channels still dominated how people get their news: CNN and Fox News.

Of the nearly 3,000 participants in Pew's study, 16 percent said they relied on CNN for the lion's share of their news consumption, with 14 percent saying Fox News was their go-to news source.

Local news stations followed at No. 3, with 10 percent of respondents saying local TV supplied the bulk of their news.

It's worth noting that together, Fox News and CNN are the go-to sources for less than 1/3 of Pew's respondents, reflecting the increasing diversity of news sources.

We've come a long way from the days when everybody crowded around to watch — and trust — Walter Cronkite.

Read Pew's full report here, and look at the visual breakdown of which people trust which news sources below.

Image via Pew Research Center Image via Pew Research Center


How did TheBlaze do in Pew's study?

More conservatives than liberals said they trusted TheBlaze, with 82 percent of the survey respondents saying they hadn't heard of our site.

Considering we're already the 59th-biggest website (not just news site) in the country (according to ranking website Quantcast) and have over 25 million unique monthly readers (according to Google), we like the room for growth.

Of those who were familiar with TheBlaze, 34 percent said they trusted us and 50 percent were somewhere in the middle, with the remaining 16 percent saying they didn't trust TheBlaze.

Compared to the Huffington Post, which was better known but less trusted, or BuzzFeed, which was only trusted by 7 percent of the respondents who knew of the website, TheBlaze seems to be doing pretty well.

In the end, Pew’s overall rankings listed TheBlaze ahead of several major media outlets, with a better trusted-to-untrusted ratio than the New York Times, the Washington Post and even Fox News:

(Source: Pew study) (Source: Pew study)

This story has been updated with more information.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

Most recent
All Articles