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Internet Gains Ground As Trusted News Source 214

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the they-must-not-read-this-site dept.
Khammurabi writes "Yahoo is reporting that the younger generation is trusting internet news sources more and more. From the article, 'The survey confirmed that media consumption is shifting online for younger generations, as 19 percent of those aged 18 to 24 named the Internet as their most important source of news compared with 9 percent overall.' Also in the article is the factoid that Americans consider Fox News the most trustworthy national news program overall (coming in at 11%)."
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Internet Gains Ground As Trusted News Source

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:38PM (#15257579)
    Asked to name the news source they most trusted, without any prompting, 59 percent of Egyptians said Al Jazeera, 52 percent of Brazilians said Rede Globo, 32 percent of Britons said the BBC, 22 percent of Germans said ARD and 11 percent of Americans said Fox News, each leading their respective nations.

    Ok, let me go out on a limb and predict where the slashdot crowd will direct their wrath on. Behold, Fox News.

    I'll admit Fox News has its ups and downs, but the ire and hatred that liberals have for it is over the top.

    I doubt you'll hear a peep about Al Jazeera or the BBC on this thread.

  • Re:Trusted news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:40PM (#15257596) Homepage Journal
    Well, since the majority of the news on the Internet comes from the same companies that publish newspapers and run the TV stations (cnn.com, foxnews.com, washingtonpost.com, etc), for all intents and purposes the Internet is almost exactly equally trustworthy as them.

    Do you read outside your own country? If not, why?

    The beauty of the internet is getting past political and physical boundaries. I can read english language sites beyond the scope of political parties or central governments who would prefer to spin things one way.

  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:41PM (#15257605) Journal
    100% - 11% = 89%

    This means that 89% of the American public, according to this summary, do not think that fox is the most trusted name in news.

  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by uncoveror (570620) <webmaster@@@uncoveror...com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:42PM (#15257618) Homepage
    Indeed! If you trust Fox News, then everything you think you know is wrong. CNN is really no better. Those initials should stand for Certainly Not News. It is a shame we don't have something like BBC in the US.
  • Too general (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:43PM (#15257626) Homepage Journal
    Saying the "internets" are a trusted news source is like saying that television is a trusted news source or newspapers/books are a trusted news source.

    Neither of these claims are true in a generic sense. All of these are mere information channels containing good as well as bad information sources (definition of "good" and "bad" left as an exercise to the reader). It is up to the individual to discern which particular websites/channels/newspapers are worthy, and which are not.

    Discriminating between fiction and non-fiction is one of the most important skills kids could and should learn.

  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:44PM (#15257637) Homepage Journal
    Whenever I see a big mainstream news headline and read the story, I'll usually hit Google News to see what opposing views there are. Lately I've typed in some headlines and found 200 newspapers using the exact same wire article, verbatim. After wading through that junk, I'll slowly find opposing views -- views that were impossible to find just a few years ago.

    I'm not sure that any news is really news anymore; more and more news is colored by opinion. That is fine with me, but I would like to see more sources given tribute and more news reporters coming up with unique news rather than regurgitating the same stories over and over again. I figure why don't these major news outlets just run an RSS feed of the AP and be done with it?

    For me, I prefer the news that was normally marginalized out of existance. It gives me a dose of unique opinions, and it also helps create interesting debate topics that help in relationship at home and my relationships with friends and customers.

    I think more and more people are starting to think outside the box -- and the Internet is a great place to find every opinion. Are all of them newsworthy? Probably not.

    With companies like BlogBurst.com bringing amateur news and opinions to large mainstream media outlets, we'll see more and more integration of the sidestream media, and maybe we'll see less and less need to rely on sources such as CNN and FoxNN.
  • by mapkinase (958129) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:47PM (#15257659) Homepage Journal
    Thanks Fox News, you've helped make that possible by bluring corporate interference in the news room, info-tainment and politics.

    Look at it this way. For 89% of Americans, Fox News is NOT the most trusted News source.

    Feel better? :-)
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) <jhummel@@@johnhummel...net> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:51PM (#15257701) Homepage
    While it's perhaps unfair to label both Fox and Al Jazeera as "extremists", but let's be honest: the people I've known who tend to rely soley on one or the other of these two news organizations tend to have very particular views (most hard-core Republicans I have known tend to swear by Fox "the only fair news" as they tell me).

    So is it that people give greater trust then to news that reinforce their own views (which is why I'm sure more progressives would swear by Slate and Salon instead)? I'd be curious to see how news organizations do against political/religious/ethnic/age background (though this study at least looked into age).

    And which one is the most "accurate"? It reminds me of a study done back in the 2004 elections who shows that viewers of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" scored higher on current events and political events accuracy than watchers of any other news organizations (including Fox).

    Either way, it's interesting to see the Internet rising, but that's not surprising as the population gets older. I know I rarely watch TV news anymore save for the "Daily Show" (and that's not for information, but for perspective so I can laugh at the world a bit) and Sunday talking heads shows (so my children can ask me why I'm telling the people in the TV to "answer the question, you hack!").
  • by orzetto (545509) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:53PM (#15257724)

    Before everybody correctly points out that the Internet is not a reliable source, I would like to point out that newspapers are not really up to the standards they are purported to be. Every time I read a newspaper article on a subject I know well, I very, very rarely read anything insightful, and very often loads of bullshit. Most of the times, the writer probably had to finish an article and deliver X lines, and put a few "facts" together—possibly naïvely got from the Internet as well.

    I tend to trust sources where readers can write down their views, integrate, and if necessary insult the writer. I trust Slashdot commentaries (the whole page, not single comments), an often-edited Wikipedia article or a high-traffic blog way more than an article in a newspaper, because if there is something to be known you will probably find it. Even if you have to wade through flame wars and moderators on crack, it's likely there.

    There's no such thing as a totally reliable news source, anyway.

  • Re:Sad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by j. andrew rogers (774820) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:01PM (#15257792)
    If you trust Fox News, then everything you think you know is wrong. CNN is really no better. Those initials should stand for Certainly Not News. It is a shame we don't have something like BBC in the US.

    The BBC is not unbiased either, just differently biased.

    The real problem is the very assumption that there are unbiased news sources. If you think a news source is "unbiased", all it usually means is that the news source just happens to share your bias. Conflating shared bias with lack of bias is a very common failure of critical thinking. When people on every side of the political spectrum accuse news sources of being biased, they are all correct.

  • by DaedalusLogic (449896) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:02PM (#15257805)
    I agree with some of the other points in your post, however:

    An interesting and very, very sad tidbit. The country is in a war it never should have entered, China is financing USA debt, which will give it tremendous leverage, while the president continues to boost 'defense' spending at the expense of social programs, Iran is spearheading a move away from the Dollar for petroleum trading, and a lot more. It's only taken 5 years for some people to come around to the facts that this is not a forthcoming or particularly well run government. Thanks Fox News, you've helped make that possible by bluring corporate interference in the news room, info-tainment and politics.

    You just blamed a news outlet for starting a war, causing a trade deficit, budgetary and foreign relations problems and mistakes... at the behest of corporations?

    Clarfiy this, is your whole jumpsuit made of tinfoil or is it just your hat?

    News media tends to be a mirror of the public at large, and there are dissenting views in other outlets. You just said that you tend to trust those outlets. What you're doing in that last statement is trying to assign a "face" to the millions of people that simply don't agree with you. All media slants facts with opinion, so you're doing the right thing by cross checking news organizations to see that they are providing the facts... Which is what news is about... News organizations don't stay in business when they blatently lie and misrepresent the core facts of an issue.

    I tend to find it "very, very sad" that less people vote than they should... I am also pissed off that Iran says that they're going to attack Israel if anyone moves against them... I am upset that my stocks went down in the market today... but blame NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, and ABC... I'm not that crazy.
  • by John Newman (444192) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:18PM (#15257927)
    So, yes, sadly Fox News is the "most trusted" news source in America, if that sentence is true.
    Not exactly, because it was a single-answer free-response question. The fact that Fox News led at only 11% shows that in a nation awash in news sources, Fox News viewers are the most monolithic block of news comsumers in America. In other words, people who get their news from Fox are more likely to only get it from Fox - a finding supported by other surveys. I'm actually surprised that Fox News didn't poll higher, given its near-mythical status among 30% or so of the population, including most of the government.
  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smbarbour (893880) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:20PM (#15257951)
    Well, it's probably an artifact of the survey. There is a certain percentage of people who will believe what they are told without question, and apparently the "Red state" population outnumbers the "Blue state" population.

    The more informed know better. The correct answer to "Which national news program is the most trustworthy?" is "None of the above"
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:20PM (#15257953) Homepage Journal
    BIGTIME... He didn't blame a news media company for starting the war - he blamed them for hiding the true information that would've exposed this as a bullshit war, therefore helping the government pull the wool over our eyes and screw us over. Again, a particular George Carlin quote comes to mind, pal. If you're gonna have such a knee-jerk reaction, at least make it a useful one involving you dragging a hacksaw blade across the major arteries in your body.
  • by arrrrg (902404) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:24PM (#15257981)
    sites like Google News, which let you see an aggregate of all the mainstream sources at once. This pretty much ensures that you get to see all stories from all angles, which is quite different than if you stuck to a single print (or online) news source. There's also the added social factor, in that you can read blogs, sites, etc. that will point you directly to articles on a given topic or with a given viewpoint that might interest you, regardless of what source they came from. Ideally /. would be in this category, but I can hardly remember the last time I felt the urge to RTFA on a story here ... the editors are a joke, but the comments keep me coming back.
  • by greg_barton (5551) * <greg_barton@NOSpaM.yahoo.com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:29PM (#15258011) Homepage Journal
    You just blamed a news outlet for ...

    No, he blamed them for the fact that it's taken "...5 years for some people to come around to the facts..." They didn't start the war. They were the cover so it could be started with less opposition.

    News organizations don't stay in business when they blatently lie and misrepresent the core facts of an issue.

    The existence of FoxNews makes this statement demonstrably false.
  • Re:Trusted news (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:35PM (#15258048) Homepage Journal
    Because most English language papers are not on the same level as Americans in their political leanings. Even the most liberal Americans are right-wingers over in Europe. People like what they read to agree with what they already "feel" as some sort of validation that their feelings and opinions are correct. This is not a conspiracy, it's human nature. We like to be right, even if that means redefining what it means to *be* right.

    A bit like the US administration being highly critical of Al-Jezeera, during the invation of Iraq, for showing graphic footage of the dead, while american audiences were fed, and I quote one network anchorman, "This is shock and awe!" Yeah, americans saw something which looked like quite a few Hollywood films. Al-Jezeera put a human face on "shock and awe", showing civilians with their bodies blown apart, and on image of a boy with only a partial head I will never shake the memory of.

  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:44PM (#15258107) Homepage Journal

    Fox news has risen to prominence because it is the singluar major news outlet that doesn't pander to leftist sympathies.

    Or it could be that Americans want feel-good news. Good reporting digs up uncomfortable truths. After being barraged by many uncomfortable truths in the 60s and 70s, Americans ushered in the feel-good-about-America Reagan Era. Arguably it was America's collective desire to avoid complicated reality in favor of a more jingoistic and easily-digestible view of the world that led both to the rightward political turn of the last two decades, and the simultaneous rise of Fox News and breathless "as it happens" reportage devoid of context or depth.

    You don't have to be a leftist to understand that America does actually make mistakes, but you do have to practice willful ignorance if you watch Fox and expect you're getting an unvarnished look at current events. As for the Washington Times, calling it "conservative-leaning" is like referring to the John Birch Society as "mildly conservative."

    The most an information consumer can hope for is to be cognizant of the prejudices of the source. One can only hope that as the blogosphere and internet media evolves as an information source, the critical thinking skills of consumers experiences a similar evolution. Too many people believe what they are told and a free society will not long endure when so many of its citizens are damned fools.

    Being cognizant of the prejudices of the source is vital. I definitely agree with you there. It's a pity that so many people still take most of their news from one TV network. TV is the most easily-manipulated, most infotainment-oriented, most passive news medium. I find it baffling that anyone could watch Fox, CNN, NBC, CBS, or ABC, and think that they're being informed in anything but the most minimal fashion. Read one issue of the Economist, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, or the NY Times, and compare that to a week's worth of TV news viewing. The difference in the amount and quality of information received is staggering.

    Sadly, I'm not sure that the blogosphere is much better than TV. Disinformation and spin can be passed through the blogosphere just as rapidly as via TV. When everyone's opinions are equal in weight, the opinions that fit our own predispositions and desires (as with feel-good Fox TV reporting) get amplified. Minority voices do get heard in the blogosphere, which is good. But ultimately we're still left with the fact that most of what we read on blogs is opinion, derived from primary sources in the mainstream media. If the MSM isn't doing its job and practicing good, in-depth journalism, bloggers can act as primary information gatherers, but it's not easy, particularly in places like war zones and Congressional office buildings.

  • Re:Well Hell (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Guuge (719028) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:58PM (#15258205)
    Nearly every newspaper posts corrections, and has been doing so for as long as I can remember. It's fun to laugh at some of the mistakes they make, but I doubt that anyone would migrate to a different news medium because of it (though maybe to a different newspaper).
  • by sentientbrendan (316150) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:11PM (#15258290)
    Not many news sources these days make an effort to do any investigative reporting, or to actually educate the public on matters important to them... Television and internet sources are generally the worst. I can go through all of CNN and FOX new's sites without finding an article that isn't essentially fluff. People talk about fox news being bad, and it is. However, they miss the real, much bigger problem, that *all* of the 24 hour news channels are generally filled with uninformative crap and sensationalistic nonsense. FOX news is just the worst (a real shitstorm of misinformation, staged interviews, and sensationalism).

    What really bugs me, is just what kind of uninsightful hacks they have anchoring CNN, FOX, and MSNBC. I want the news to report politics, not to get political. These guys don't seem to get that, and think that to report politics means they have to pick a side, and demonize whatever party they don't like. I want them to report all the pertinent *events that actually happen* and let me make my own judgements. Anchors can render their own judgement on a situation when appropriate, but there's a clear distinction between that and the constant political hackery that goes on. Don't even get me started on the interviews they give...

    Really, newspapers are the best source that I've seen, but not all newspapers. The Seattle Times is a really good paper, and family run so that they aren't totally beholden to corporate interests. They do a lot of investigative reporting, and I rarely see them putting sensationalistic trash (celebrity murders, hyped up disasters that aren't actually that important, etc) on their front page like many other sources. Many people across the country seem to read the New York Times, but I'm a little iffy on them. It seems that their reporters have been caught lying, and doing other unscrupulous things a number of times.

    I haven't been listening to NPR recently, but I remember they used to give really good interviews.
  • by natedubbya (645990) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:18PM (#15258344)
    Also in the article is the factoid that Americans consider Fox News the most trustworthy national news program overall (coming in at 11%)

    An interesting and very, very sad tidbit.

    Actually, I find this very encouraging for the USA. As the article states, the numbers from each of the major regions polled were: 59 percent of Egyptians said Al Jazeera, 52 percent of Brazilians said Rede Globo, 32 percent of Britons said the BBC, 22 percent of Germans said ARD and 11 percent of Americans said Fox News

    I'm proud to be in a country without one news source monopolizing all of the channels. The most popular news source in the US only came in at 11%! I think that's pretty surprising...and not something to be sad about. You're sad that 1 in 10 americans like fox news? Give me a break...that's one of the most diverse percentages I've heard about this country in a long time. It's something to cheer about.

  • by bmud (590967) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:46PM (#15258553)
    there are dissenting views in other outlets. ... All media slants facts with opinion, so you're doing the right thing by cross checking news organizations to see that they are providing the facts... Which is what news is about... News organizations don't stay in business when they blatently lie and misrepresent the core facts of an issue.

    Not so fast. The major networks operate more as a collective institution than as a cut-throat competitive, diverse environment.

    First, major news outlets are all huge corporations with an inherent stake in the stability of the status quo. Shocking revelations that create social uncertainty oppose their institutional interest in the status quo. They would rather repeatedly sell you the same re-packaged commodity.

    Second, they are always conscious of the advertising license to do business. Again, challenging the status quo will always offend a small, vocal part of the readership. Advertisers are aware of this.

    Third, they are tied to certain sources to produce the news commodity in a predictible way. Sure they could do independent investigative work to uncover something interesting, but it's easier and more reliable to paraphrase the information released by key players. Protip: press conferences are scheduled with journalists' deadlines in mind.

    Fourth, there is a pretty consistent ideology among the class of people who participate in the institution. There is superficial diversity among the outlets, but that only conceals the fact that they share far more in common than they diverge. Let me paraphrase - "The most effective censor allows lively debate within strictly defined bounds." (Chomsky) The debate that takes place in today's media amounts to "I want to drink the kool-aid in a red cup" versus "I want to drink the kool aid in the blue cup." Ask yourself who runs the media - predominately white, male, heterosexual, upper-middle-class, Protestant, middle-aged, educated, urban individuals. Even people who are supposedly diverse are only diverse along one of these axes and are forced to speak within the bounds of the common ideology these people share. I dare you to find an impoverished minority intersexual environmental expert who can get an article published, despite the fact that this person would have a set of life experiences that could truly bring a different, intersting perspective to the table on a thousand issues.

    The media postures itself as an attack dog, but the reality is that it is an institution in a symbiotic relationship with the government. This is why they can all lie to us at the same time despite the fact there's no concerted conspiracy.

    For example, BBC journalist Greg Palast originally broke the story about the 20,000 disinfranchised black citizens in the 2000 election in Florida. You would think this would be a hot scoop that all outlets would fall over each other to get. In the first six months, no news outlet ran the story. ABC looked in to it, but their "investigation" was to call up Jeb Bush's office, listen to his denial, and drop the story. The story eventually ran, but only because the NAACP pushed it to the limelight. Even then the story was that the NAACP was complaining about issue X, not that this happened.

    You just blamed a news outlet for starting a war, causing a trade deficit, budgetary and foreign relations problems and mistakes.

    When was the last time the media truly challenged the government on any of these issues? All of these issues deserve front page news every day, scathing investigative reporting that publicly embarasses everyone responsible. Sure, they didn't cause these problems, but their complacence allows them to happen. Fox News, furthermore, has the active agenda of promoting misinformation about many of these problems. They accuse the outlets that are simply complacent of having a liberal bias. They truly are a primary player in the propaganda effort that got Americans to support the war and to ignore issues that truly are critical.
  • by bmud (590967) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:55PM (#15258620)
    No. It's not a holy war. It doesn't come down to opinion. They are wrong in fact repeatedly. They confirm the ideology of their viewing audience, manipulating the facts as convenient. To claim that this boils down to opinion only legitimizes it. "Who are they to tell me that the Panama Canal was built in 1914? If I want to say that it was built in 1941, that's my right as an American!" - Stephen Colbert
  • by mauddib~ (126018) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:22PM (#15258769) Homepage
    I think more and more people are starting to think outside the box

    Thats an interesting point you make. The question remains, did the box get smaller, or did people get wider views? As much as I would like to embrace the second option, I do believe that mainstream newschannels are actually shrinking the box (people want to be informed, but are not judgemental on what to be informed about, so news-makers can just as well narrow it down to just the usual wired stories or even less).
  • by vertinox (846076) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:31PM (#15258820)
    The rest are either moderates or conservatives. All of the other major news outlets are competing for that 1 in 4, and ignoring the rest of us.

    Well... Unfortunatley, I don't have any blond missing daughters.

    But seriously, I find Fox News offensive and I consider myself to be Independant Moderate (I used to vote Republican).

    But there are so many inconstancies and just poor taste and blind support of government and fear mongering over terrorism, that I just don't want to watch them anymore.

    Sure the rest suck, but that is what The Daily Show is for.
  • by nfras (313241) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @10:10PM (#15259354)
    I doubt you'll hear a peep about Al Jazeera or the BBC on this thread.

    Perhaps because Al-Jazeera is the only non state-run media organisation in the Middle East. And the BBC is arguably the most independent and un-biased news source in the world. Neither is without bias, cultural and selective, but Fox News is a mouthpiece for the Republican Party, so much so that even other Fox programs acknowledge this. [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @10:13PM (#15259368)
    Egypt and Brazil are VERY lopsided: they each have over 50% trust in one source. And even the UK is fairly lopsided: almost 1/3 trust the BBC, and nearly 1/2 put their trust into only 3 sources. But then look down a bit farther: the US only puts 26% of its trust into the top 3 sources, and India only puts 28% of its trust into the top 3 sources.

    Personally, I think it's better to have low percentages. It shows that no single source can alter the opinion of the entire nation. Think of it this way: Fox+CNN can only sway 22% of the voters. However, in the UK, the BBC can swing 32% of the votes. In Egypt, Al Jazeera has a majority. Ouch. So much for the idea of ever having a meaningful election in Egypt.
  • by AmoHongos (467830) on Thursday May 04, 2006 @01:40AM (#15260237)
    I think Stephen Colbert said it best: "Fox News gives time to both sides: the President's side and the Vice-President's side."

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