Fox News Comes Out On Top, Quinnipiac Poll, March 9, 2015

There used to be a saying, "If it's on television, it must be true."  On Monday, a Quinnipiac poll was released, and it concluded that at least in the case of network TV news, that old saying no longer applies.  The poll found that the trust that Americans have put into their network news has dropped significantly from Walter Cronkite's historic days of hosting the CBS Evening News.  With 48 percent of respondents saying that network news is less trustworthy, there were still some news stations that Americans seem to be counting on to report the news quickly and accurately.

Fox News Channel came out on top, with 29% of respondents saying that they trust Fox News the most.  The networks that followed Fox came in with the following scores: CNN at 22%, NBC at 10%, CBS at 10%, ABC at 8%, and MSNBC trailing at 7%.  Interestingly, Fox, which is typically viewed as holding a more conservative stance than the other news stations, remained on top among 25% of independents, followed again by CNN with 22 percent of independent respondents.  Not as surprisingly, among Republicans and Democrats, party lines have been drawn.  Where Fox was considered most trusted among 58% of the Republican respondents, only 3% of Democrat respondents felt the same.  Likewise, CNN which is considered more liberal, was considered most trustworthy by 32% of Democrats, but only 13% of Republicans agreed.  What is intriguing about this, is that for a long time, MSNBC has been considered the most liberal network news, and among the Democrat respondents, only 14% said they trust MSNBC the most. Another interesting note came with the gender breakdown of the rankings.  While men followed the overall trend of trusting Fox over CNN 34%-18%, women were tied on placing their trust between Fox and CNN, at 25% each. 

Perhaps adding to the lack of trust in today's news, recently we have seen that NBC’s Brian Williams allegedly fabricated some of the details of stories that he covered in the past.  When asked whether or not Brian Williams should be allowed to return to his post at NBC, less than half, 42% of respondents, said yes, and 35% said no.

All in all, the idea that continues to remain prevalent through this poll is that people have stopped putting all of their trust in the network news that they used to hold dear. With the recent discoveries of anchors fabricating details of the stories they covered, and political comedy shows changing the tone of news from the cold hard facts to that of laughter and satire, it is not hard to see why the change might have occurred.

For more information on this poll, please go to http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2173