A new survey revealed that nearly half — 49 percent — of high school students have not much or any trust in the media to report the news fairly and accurately. Among teache,rs the figure is slightly higher at 51 percent.
The national study of 9,774 high school students and 498 teachers was conducted by the Knight Foundation.
Students responded that their trust of local TV news had dropped from 30 percent in 2016 to just 14 percent in 2018 with similar numbers for cable news, 26 percent in 2016 and just 12 percent in 2018.
The drop was less steep in their use of social media to obtain news from 51 percent in 2016 to 46 percent in 2018, as Facebook and Twitter have struggled with their own fake news issues.
Citizen journalism was the main beneficiary of this growing distrust of traditional media with 40 percent of the students responding that they trusted this source of news compared to 26 percent in 2016.
The study also asked students about fake news with just 21 percent viewing it as a “very serious threat” to democracy vs. 40 percent of teachers. In addition, just 20 percent of students said they are confident in their own ability to identify fake news.