Accuracy in Media

Public Policy Polling released it’s annual “TV News Trust Poll”  this week and PBS tops the list as the most trusted new outlet among those surveyed.

PBS which was not included in the poll last year is trusted by 50% of respondents compared to 42% for last years winner Fox News.

Though Fox fell to second place they still topped their competitors in the broadcast and cable arena though the margin narrowed from last year.

The trust/distrust ratio fell largely along ideological lines with Democrats and Independents favoring PBS and distrusting Fox and vice versa.

Outlet Trust/Distrust Net 2010 Numbers Shift from 2010
PBS 50/30 +20 Not Included Not Applicable
NBC 41/41 0 35/44 (-9) +9
CNN 40/43 -3 39/41 (-2) -1
Fox News 42/46 -4 49/37 (+12) -16
CBS 36/43 -7 32/46 (-14) +7
ABC 35/43 -8 31/46 (-15) +7

What’s curious about the survey is not the inclusion of PBS as much as the omission of second place cable news network MSNBC.    Even though MSNBC and NBC have the same parent they are vastly different networks in their programming.  And how does a polling service conduct a survey on the news and not include MSNBC when they include both Fox and thrid place CNN?

If anything PPP should have included MSNBC and not PBS as there aren’t many people that I know that consider the taxpayer supported network to be a news network.

It looks like we may have an example of polling bias as MSNBC would have likely received lower trust numbers from Republicans than PBS and that might have allowed Fox to retain its number one ranking.

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