There’s a big difference between the number of people who worry about fake news and who say they’ve actually seen it

“The biggest single gap between perception and what people actually see.” The Reuters Digital News Report for 2018 — which we wrote up here — includes big sections on fake news and misinformation. A few takeaways: — People worry about fake news, but have trouble thinking of times they’ve actually seen it.
In focus groups (UK, US, Brazil, Germany this year) we find that ordinary people spontaneously raise the issue of ‘fake news’ in a way they didn’t a year ago. This is not surprising given extensive use by some politicians to describe media they don’t like — and widespread coverage by the media. But we find audience perceptions of these issues are very different from those of politicians and media insiders. Yes, people worry about fabricated or ‘made up’ news (58 percent), but they struggle to find examples of when they’ve actually seen this (26 percent). Of all
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Americans think the news industry is “headed in the wrong direction,” but what does that even mean?

Americans are fractured over the role of journalists, confused by terms like “op-ed,” and wary of the “watchdog” part of journalism, a new report suggests. Yet they’re also increasingly trustful of their favorite news outlets. A report out Tuesday from the Media Insight Project, surveying 2,019 adult members of the American public and 1,127 American journalists, suggests a somewhat jumbled and confusing situation. It’s most enlightening when it drills down into how specific groups are thinking about the media in general and about their own favored news sources. For example:
What do Americans think about the direction of the news industry? A majority, 56 percent, say it is headed in the wrong direction; 42 percent say the right direction. Views about the direction of the media correspond with trust. While 73 percent of those who trust the news media generally say the media is headed in the right direction,
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Exiting the exit poll: The AP’s new plan for surveying voters after a not-so-hot 2016

One hundred and seventy-four days remain until the United States’ midterm elections (421 until the next presidential election, but who’s counting) — which means there’s still time to “evolve” how polling is conducted. The 2016 presidential election wasn’t polling’s shining moment, with many post-mortems pointing to opinion polls misleading election forecasters and underestimating now-President Trump’s support. It didn’t help that some polls were tied to news organizations that don’t really have the resources anymore to support this work — at least doing this work well. There’s no perfect poll aside from (maybe) the ballot itself, but the polling system — both conducted by the media and reported on in the media — has faced critics since long before November 8, 2016. These issues contributed to the Associated Press’ and Fox News’ departure from the Election Day polling data shared by the major networks last year. But now the wire Continue reading "Exiting the exit poll: The AP’s new plan for surveying voters after a not-so-hot 2016"

Americans don’t really like the media much — unless it’s their go-to news outlets you’re asking about

The president of the United States, both an avid consumer and a vicious antagonist of news, will in one breath vilify the (FAKE NEWS) media and in the next praise Fox for its ratings. The American people have a similarly uneven relationship with the news. Americans’ trust in media fell last fall to its lowest point since Gallup began polling on the issue in 1972, driven in large part by growing distrust from Republicans. But while a slim percentage of Americans regard “the news media” in abstract as trustworthy, when asked specifically about news outlets they consumed most often, more people had favorable views, according to a new study released Wednesday from the Media Insight Project (a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research). Just 17 percent of Americans said they found “the news media” in general to be “very accurate,” but asked
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