Anytime we’re talking about our views of news media and reporting – it's never lost on me that the number one reason we’re here and you’re listening is due to a general desire. To get, as the late Great One used to say, the rest of the story. In today’s media landscape it’s become increasingly important to us to have sources of information we trust. That’s especially evident in the latest findings from the Pew Research Center. What do you think of when you hear ABC News? CBS News? NBC News? How about CNN or Fox News? An overwhelming majority of Americans have very specific views about what those news organizations generally represent.
According to Pew, here's how people believe news organizations favor a political side:
- 52% Democrats
- 86% Republicans
In terms of trust, it’s dramatic. On the question of whether the information from national news organizations is very trustworthy.
- 35% Democrats
- 12% Republicans
In fact, we aren’t inclined to have a lot of trust in information from just about anyone. Only 15% of us have a lot of trust in friends and family for information and only 5% of us believe that news in social media is very trustworthy. For these reasons, it has never been more important to find the information you feel you can generally count on.
Clearly, that’s a challenge for most in today’s news landscape, especially for those who lean right of center politically. What’s fascinating is the seeming lack of desire for most news organizations to honestly reflect on their practices for the clear purpose of better servicing those who truly seek information. I’ve longed believed that the most important characteristic in trust is transparency. Are news organizations or individuals honest and transparent about who they are? Where they’re coming from? Are they willing to admit fault if they’re wrong? Personally, that’s what I look for and the combination of transparency and integrity is in short supply.