American Views: Trust, Media and Democracy

by Knight Foundation

For anyone trying to make change happen in local economies, part of the work requires addressing the dominant narrative, while introducing an alternative.

What do we know about our audiences, and the channels we use to reach them, at this unique moment in time? 

Knight Foundation and Gallup surveyed 19,000 Americans about their opinions and habits regarding the media. A few highlights: 

  • It’s no surprise: trust in media overall is low, across backgrounds and beliefs. You can read why in this 10 Reasons American Trust in the Media is at an All-Time Low.
  • Local media and local distribution channels enjoy higher trust with audiences across political views, race, and educational background. 
  • Sixty-nine percent say they follow local and national political news “very closely” or “somewhat closely.” Slightly fewer, roughly six in 10, say they follow news about state government or international affairs very or somewhat closely. Sports and business and finance topics receive less attention.

As you develop communications and campaign strategies, this report will provide insights about the audiences you seek to engage.

Read the report.