recent survey done by the Public Relations Society
of America (PRSA) and market research firm Harris
Interactive, refutes the popular conceptions about how
much people value news today – and where they get it
The national survey, titled Executive, Congressional and
Consumer Attitudes Toward Media, Marketing and the
Public Relations Profession, compares attitudes and
opinions about media, marketing and public relations
among adult American consumers, Fortune 1000 executives,
and congressional staffers.
A clear majority of each of these groups stated that
they are interested in the news and that they tend to
trust traditional news outlets. This is in contrast to a
prevailing opinion that most people are less interested
in the news today and are seeking alternative sources
for their information.
According to most of the respondents, the most trusted
news outlets are the traditional ones – public radio and
television programming, newspapers and broadcast news
shows. A large majority (61% to 75%) said that they
trust public TV and NPR, while 56% to 78% stated that
they trust papers like The Wall Street Journal, The New
York Times and Washington Post. While the majority trust
these types of sources, only a minority believe the
reports to be unbiased and accurate.
The least-trusted information sources, among these
groups, include celebrities endorsing a product or a
cause, conservative and liberal talk show hosts, and
people who work in the advertising industry.
In the middle are advocacy groups, pollsters and
government officials. Interestingly, only a small
majority (53%) of congressional staffers said that they
somewhat or completely trust government officials.
As Judith Phair, president and CEO of PRSA, stated,
"It's easy to read the headlines in trade and business
press about all of the hot 'new' media channels and
start to believe that the traditional press is passé,
but this survey confirms that despite some new entrants,
Americans still use news, seek news and place their
trust in the traditional sources."