A new Gallup survey on trust in the media shows Americans by a 2-to-1 margin don’t want journalists sharing their personal opinions about the news on social media.
But Americans overwhelmingly welcome journalists using social media to report facts.
“The one thing Americans do not want to see journalists doing on social media is sharing their personal views about the news of the day: 34 percent approve of this, while 65 percent disapprove, including 27 percent who strongly disapprove.
“Democrats (47 percent) are more inclined to approve of journalists editorializing than are Republicans (25 percent) and independents (27 percent),” reported Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones. “In contrast, Americans overwhelmingly endorse the idea of journalists using social media when they use it to promote facts. For example, 92 percent of U.S. adults approve of reporters making social media posts to correct false or misleading statements made by politicians, including 62 percent who approve strongly. More than nine in 10 Americans also approve of journalists using social media to share additional research or background information that went into their reporting and answering questions from readers, viewers or listeners about recent stories they reported. More than half of Americans, 52 percent, strongly approve of reporters sharing additional information on social media, while 41 percent strongly approve of them answering questions from their audience.”
The Gallup survey was conducted in partnership with the Knight Foundation, and also noted that “reporter social media activity could also foster mistrust of the media if journalists use it to express their personal views on the day’s news.
“Although bias is arguably Americans’ chief complaint about the news media, they would prefer that reporters maintain an objective stance by sticking to the facts on social media rather than being transparent about their biases by revealing them publicly.”