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Surge Desk

PBS the Most Trusted News Outlet, Fox the Most Distrusted, Poll Finds

Jan 19, 2011 – 4:29 PM
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Mara Gay

Mara Gay Contributor

What a difference a year can make.

According to a new Public Policy Polling survey, a majority of Americans say they don't trust Fox News, just a year after the same poll found that the conservative-leaning network was the most trusted major outlet.

This year, however, Americans surveyed said they trust PBS much more than Rupert Murdoch's cable outlet. Asked to rate a number of different news organizations, 50 percent of those polled said they trusted PBS as a news source, while just 30 percent said they did not. In contrast, Fox News had a much less favorable split, with 42 percent of respondents indicating that they trusted the network that bills itself as "Fair and Balanced," and 46 percent saying they did not trust it.

Last year, the same poll found that 49 percent of those polled said they trusted the Roger Ailes-led network and just 37 percent did not. What accounts for Fox's decline in credibility in the past year? According to the polling data, the network lost ground with moderates and liberals: 60 percent of moderates in this year's poll said they distrust the network, while only 48 percent did a year ago. Not surprisingly, Fox fared even worse among liberals: 82 percent of them said they distrust the network, versus 66 percent a year ago.

Though Fox was the only major news outlet to see a decrease in the percentage of Americans who say they trust its news coverage, the network can still take heart in the fact that a higher percentage of people say they trust it over CBS, ABC, NBC and CNN. On the downside, Fox now has the highest level of distrust among those surveyed of any other television news organization polled.

Other interesting findings: Trust for the major news networks overall is on the rise while last year it was on the decline, and only 25 percent of black Americans polled say they trust Fox News, versus 35 percent of Hispanics and 46 percent of whites.

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Filed under: Nation, Surge Desk