PPP's annual look at the public's trust in various TV news outlets finds that Fox News' credibility is on the decline, that the traditional networks are seeing an up tick in their numbers, and that PBS is at the top of the heap.
Here's how they stack up from highest net trust to worst:
- A year ago a plurality of Americans said they trusted Fox News. Now a plurality of them don't. Conservatives haven't moved all that much- 75% said they trusted it last year and 72% still do this time around. But moderates and liberals have both had a strong increase in their level of distrust for the network- a 12 point gain from 48% to 60% for moderates and a 16 point gain from 66% to 82% for liberals. Voters between left and center tend to be more trusting of the media across the board, which is why a fair number of them were still rating Fox favorably even a year ago at this time. But it looks like with a lot of those folks it has finally crossed the line to being too political to trust.
- All three of the traditional major networks- NBC, CBS, and ABC- have seen an increase in their trust levels over the last year. NBC continues to be the most trusted of the trio, breaking even this year at 41% who trust it and 41% who don't. It may be MSNBC's liberal tilt that vaults its parent network to the top overall. Conservatives distrust all three of the networks at pretty similar levels- 66% for ABC and NBC, 67% for CBS. But liberals range from 52% who trust ABC to 61% who trust CBS all the way up to 67% who trust NBC. It's interesting to see that faith in these long standing organizations is on the rise but it may be that in a new media world where there's so much more information available than there's ever been before folks are looking to places with a proven track record of getting it right.
- Democrats trust everything but Fox. Republicans don't trust anything but Fox.