President Trump constantly attacks mainstream press by terming it “fake news.” For example, he attacked CNN’s legitimacy by saying, “Not you, CNN. You’re fake news.” He also restricted access to the mainstream press by using social media, second-screening live during certain shows (e.g. Fox & Friends) and giving non-mainstream outlets such as Infowars access to press credentials.
Rachel R. Mourão, Esther Thorson, Weiyue Chen and Samuel M. Tham from the School of Journalism at the Michigan State University examined the current level of news trust among Americans to determine how those attitudes are related to the patterns of media they have chosen to use.
The researchers conducted an online survey with 1112 respondents in July 2017. Results revealed four media repertoires: low news users/some local news, news junkies, conservative news users and mainstream news users.
Low news users are respondents who have lower levels of news use, except for local television news. The members of this group also watch some nightly broadcast news and read local newspapers.
News junkies consume news from all sources at high levels. These users are younger, male and left-leaning. They discuss politics more but have lower levels of political knowledge.
Conservative news users consume Fox News, conservative sites and conservative radio more than other news outlets.
Mainstream media users consume nightly TV news, local TV news, CNN, local newspapers and national newspapers at higher levels.
News junkies and mainstream news users trusted the media more, while conservative news users had the lowest levels of trust. Support for Trump is the strongest predictor of news distrust, even controlling for conservatism and news repertoires.
To read the full text of the study: https://bit.ly/2zWnrDJ
Mourão, R. R., Thorson, E., Chen, W., & Tham, S. M. (2018). Media Repertoires and News Trust During the Early Trump Administration. Journalism Studies, 19(13), 1945-1956.